After cover-up complaint, La. agency investigated over child rape case

After cover-up complaint, La. agency investigated over child rape case
Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 4:43 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana Inspector General Stephen Street and his office are investigating complaints about how various agencies handled an alleged child rape case.

Louisiana State Police investigators were first to receive a complaint about the handling of abuse allegations against the suspect, John Mack, 75, of Livingston Parish. LSP then forwarded the complaint to Street’s office to investigate.

Documents reviewed by WAFB show the complaint listed the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and sheriff’s offices in Livingston, Washington, and Tangipahoa parishes. Street informed LSP officials that his office would be unable to investigate the various sheriff’s offices because they fall outside of his authority, records show.

The case has gained more attention after LeToyia Porter, the chief leadership officer at Bogalusa Restoration Center and caretaker of the child in question, raised concerns. Porter told lawmakers her client was subjected to years of sexual abuse and trafficking because law enforcement and DCFS failed to act, despite her complaints.

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Mack was arrested earlier this year by Louisiana State Police as part of a child sex abuse investigation, which spans several parishes. He was arrested again by the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office to face charges in that parish as well.

Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard previously explained the delayed action by saying, until recently, the agency did not have enough evidence to arrest Mack.

Porter said DCFS equally shares the blame. She said reports have been made over the last decade by mandated reporters, but she found no evidence any of those reports were followed up on, even though the child’s sibling had been removed by the department years ago for abuse.

“We welcome this independent investigation of the matter by the OIG and are cooperating fully with the inquiry,” a spokeswoman replied to a request by WAFB for comment from DCFS leaders about the investigation.

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