Officials refuse comment about murder victim's criminal history

Officials refuse comment about murder victim's criminal history
Robert Noce Jr. (Source: EBRSO)
Noce's home where he was found dead on July 4th (Source: WAFB)
Noce's home where he was found dead on July 4th (Source: WAFB)

ZACHARY, LA (WAFB) - A man who was brutally murdered at his home in Zachary had a prison sentence suspended by a judge just two weeks before his death. He was charged with sex crimes against juveniles.

Officials will not confirm nor deny whether the legal issue is possible motive for the murder.

Robert Noce, Jr., 47, was found on Saturday in his home located in the 3000 block of South Vernon Road. The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner conducted an autopsy Monday and determined the cause of death to be strangulation and stab wounds. There was also substantial injuries to the victim's face.

On June 22, 2015, Noce pleaded "no contest" (neither admitted to nor denied) to a charge of carnal knowledge of a juvenile. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and was given credit for time served. The remainder of the sentence was suspended by Judge Trudy White and Noce was placed on supervised probation for five years.

Noce was originally charged with aggravated rape by the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office. He was arrested on August 4, 2012.

According to the probable cause report, Noce was accused of forcing a 4-year-old child to perform sexual acts. The alleged abuse continued until the victim was 8-years-old.

The child was reportedly left in Noce's care by the victim's mother.

"Her mother moved out because she and Noce were 'arguing a lot,'" the deputy noted in the report. "The child reported incidents when [Noce] would come into her room at night and tell her, 'Your mom's on her way to get you,' after she would get up and get ready and wait for her, however, she would not show up. [Noce] would tell her, 'Your mom doesn't love you,' 'Your mom doesn't want you.'"

The report provides explicit details about the sexual abuse that occurred. The victim told the deputy that she "never dared to say anything when he did this to her."

The child did eventually tell her mother, which is when the investigation was launched.

Noce was arrested and booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison where he was held on a $250,000 bond. He was released on bond 19 days after his arrest.

On January 24, 2013, a grand jury returned an indictment for aggravated rape.

District Attorney Hillar Moore and Noce's attorney Drew Louiere both refused to comment on the court proceedings due to the pending homicide investigation.

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