Baton Rouge man accused of rape, human trafficking of teenager with mental disability

Baton Rouge man accused of rape, human trafficking of teenager with mental disability
Byron Richards (Source: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge man was arrested Sunday and faces charges of rape and human trafficking involving a teenager with a mental disability, according to the Baton Rouge Police Department.

Investigations that led to the arrest of Byron R. Richards, 55, started on Jan. 10 when detectives from the Baton Rouge Police Department were investigating a report of a missing person.

The initial report was that a 19-year-old female went missing from 5000 Hennessy Boulevard the day before.

The 19-year-old's family said the victim, who they said had a mental capacity of an 8-year-old, had been sexually assaulted, according to Richards' arrest affidavit.

Detectives were told that the incident occurred at a hotel. They discovered that Richards had rented a room at the hotel from Dec. 31, 2017 to Jan. 2 2018, the arrest report stated.

Investigators found the teenager on Jan 12. The victim told detectives Richards had picked her up from a store on Scotland Avenue and took her to a park. The victim told authorities she had performed an oral sex act on Richards.

Richards later dropped her off at the store after the alleged sex act, the arrest report said.

The following day, Richards had picked up the victim at the store and took her to a hotel. Richards made the victim perform an oral sex act, per the arrest report.

Richards left the 19-year-old at the hotel and returned the next day to bring her Domino's Pizza for lunch.

In addition, the victim told investigators she had performed another sex act on Richards in his car after he pulled up to a local Pizza Hut.

Richards later bought pizza and wings at the Pizza Hut.

The victim later identified Richards in a photographic lineup.

Richards was arrested and charged with first degree rape and human trafficking.

His bond has not yet been set.

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