NEW ROADS, LA (WAFB) - A New Roads police officer who was the subject of a 9News Investigation has resigned.
The officer, Sam Jerome Milligan, 27, was recently hired by the department. He was once arrested on a charge of forcible rape, which was later reduced to a misdemeanor, according to documents uncovered by 9News Investigators.
RELATED: THE INVESTIGATORS: Two women claim New Roads officer sent them nude photos
Two women also claimed Milligan sent them photos of his private parts. A small town in Pointe Coupee Parish, New Roads has fewer than 5,000 residents and an equally small police department with about 16 full-time officers.
Milligan declined repeated requests from 9NEWS for comment over the past several weeks. However, his boss, New Roads Police Chief Kevin McDonald said Milligan was a very eager job applicant who hung around the police station often and persistently asked to be hired.
"He came here probably at least 20 times requesting a job," McDonald said. "He was real diligent about wanting to become a police officer, and after some time, we said, 'This kid really has his heart in it and looked like he would make a good cop.'"
Milligan's eager attitude and persistence paid off. McDonald and his right-hand assistant, Capt. Delaney Lee agreed to hire Milligan despite the blemish in his background. Milligan has a criminal record that includes three arrests and one conviction.
In 2009, Opelousas police arrested Milligan on a charge of forcible rape. Milligan later pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of misdemeanor carnal knowledge of a juvenile, and the case was expunged last year.
His bosses said they were aware of the case when they hired him.
"It was reduced," the chief said. "Then he pled to a misdemeanor, which was expunged."
An expungement seals all records of a case, allowing access only to law enforcement agencies and courts, making it difficult for the public to verify details of a person's criminal history.
Lee said Milligan was 17 at the time and had a consensual relationship with the victim, who was 14. The victim allegedly embellished claims about what happened, and the charge was reduced after a rape kit refuted the claims, Lee said.
According to the Opelousas Police Department, Milligan was arrested on May 11, 2009 — making him just two months shy of his 19th birthday. If, as Lee states, Milligan was 17 at the time of the incident, that means the police didn't charge him until more than a year later.
Milligan disclosed his carnal knowledge conviction on his application form, but 9News Investigators found no mention of his other arrests, which he was not required to disclose because they did not result in convictions.