FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 7, 2016
COVINGTON—Keith J. Lafrance, 35, of Covington, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the forcible rape of a woman two years ago. District Judge Raymond Childress issued the sentence Oct. 31, about 2½ weeks after a jury found him guilty.
The crime came to light on Sept. 22, 2014, when police received an anonymous call that a woman had been severely beaten at a home in Covington. When St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived at the residence, the woman initially was afraid to open the door and talk to them. But one of the officers, Det. Lawrence Hudson, had investigated a prior incident, involving Lafrance and the same victim. The officers persisted, and she eventually let them inside and told them that Lafrance had threatened to kill her if she left or told anyone what happened.
The victim said she had gone to the house on Sept. 21, 2014, to pick up her car, but Lafrance became irate and attacked her, punching, kicking, and hitting her repeatedly with her mobile phone so hard that it shattered. He also berated and raped her, threatened to kill her, took her car to another location, and ordered her to stay inside without her car or mobile phone until she healed. Officers were able to identify the anonymous callers as two furniture rental employees, who said they had gone to the home to pick up furniture and noticed that the woman had been severely injured and appeared terrified. The men testified during the trial that they called 9-1-1 because they were concerned for her safety and well-being.
Lafrance had pleaded guilty in June to domestic abuse aggravated assault and domestic abuse battery, for a July 2014 incident, involving the same victim. He pushed her down, kicked, beat, and threatened her alternately with a kitchen knife and gun. Police also found Alprazolam and marijuana on him, and he also pleaded guilty to possession of both. He was sentenced to three years in prison on each of the drug charges and one year for each of the domestic abuse charges. All of the time was to be served concurrently.
Assistant District Attorneys Becky Jo Hollen and Jay Adair prosecuted the case.