Bench trial for former Shreveport Asst. CAO underway - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Testimony begins in rape trial for former Shreveport Asst. CAO

Rick Seaton arrives at the Caddo Parish Courthouse for the first day of his bench trial on charges of forcible rape Rick Seaton arrives at the Caddo Parish Courthouse for the first day of his bench trial on charges of forcible rape
Rick Seaton (Courtesy: Shreveport Police Department) Rick Seaton (Courtesy: Shreveport Police Department)
Makeup-stained white button-down shirt with blood stains found  in Seaton's desk Makeup-stained white button-down shirt with blood stains found in Seaton's desk

Testimony resumes Wednesday in the bench trial of former Shreveport Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Rick Seaton, accused of forcible rape and abuse of office.

The charges stem from an alleged incident that happened following the 2010 Independence Bowl. Seaton is accused of raping an 18-year-old woman inside Shreveport's Government Plaza following the game.

Seaton's defense opted for a bench trial, conducted before a judge without a jury. On Tuesday morning, Caddo Parish District Judge Ramona Emanuel heard from the prosecution's first witnesses: A Shreveport Police Officer and a Corporal with the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office.

Victim referred to the man as "Officer Seaton"

First on the stand was a Shreveport Police Officer Mathew Holloway, who testified about how he responded to Sam's Town Casino for a missing person's report called in by the victim's mother on the evening of the Independence Bowl. While he was there, Officer Holloway says the victim arrived and took him by the arm, sat down with him there in the casino lobby and began to tell him the story of what happened to her that day, eventually revealing that she had been raped by a man she referred to as "Officer Seaton."

"I could do something with that, she's kind of cute."

Next on the stand Tuesday morning was Corporal Ernest French with the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office.  Cpl. French testified to an altercation that had occurred earlier in the day at Independence Stadium, where responded to an incident involving the victim and her boyfriend.

At some point during that altercation, Cpl. French says Seaton - who was there helping coordinate shuttle buses from the game - walked over to the scene.

Cpl. French recalled in court Tuesday that he heard Seaton say, "I could do something with that, she's kind of cute," in reference to the alleged victim.

The boyfriend was arrested in connection with the altercation and taken to the city jail, leaving her trying to figure out how to get to the jail and get him out.

Forensic expert: DNA evidence connects Seaton, accuser

Testimony Tuesday also included an LSU forensic analyst, who testified to finding semen consistent with the DNA of Rick Seaton, and that the exterior of the condom contained DNA consistent with that of the victim.

The DNA expert also tested a blood-stained white shirt found in Seaton's desk, which proved to be a woman's blood that did not match the victim in this case.

Surveillance video shows Seaton offer accuser a ride

Charles McDuff was at the wheel of the chartered bus that a Shreveport police officer had placed the clearly intoxicated woman, insisting she head back to her hotel to wait until her boyfriend could be bailed out of the city jail. 

Security video shows Seaton board the bus after the officer left, and offering to give her a ride. McDuff testified that Seaton asked the victim, "Are you going with him or me?" The victim can be seen getting off the bus with Seaton and into a golf cart with him as the bus drives away.

Seaton allegedly called Shreveport Police Sgt. Bill Goodin around 8:00 p.m. that night. According to Sgt. Goodin's testimony Tuesday, Seaton asked if someone can post bond using a credit card. After hanging up, calling the jail and calling Seaton back with an answer, Goodin says he asked Seaton if he needed any help with anything.  Seaton, Goodin says, told him "No."

Bail bondsman testifies woman tried to get a ride with him, and away from Seaton

Jonathan Long with Louisiana Bail Bonds took the stand next, describing his encounter with the alleged victim on the night in question. Long testified that she approached him and asked if he would be able to post her boyfriend out of jail.  After further discussion, Long says he realized they were from out of state, and told her he could not help her. 

Long also recounted the woman tearfully explaining to him that there was a man outside, whom she described as a detective, who was touching her inappropriately and had refused to stop, despite her demands. She asked Long for a ride, he says, but he refused because he smelled alcohol on her breath.

SPD crime scene investigator testifies about findings in mayor's office and Seaton's office

Shreveport Police Department Crime Scene Investigator Tracy Mendels testified that she was asked to look for a used tampon, a belly button ring that was allegedly ripped out of the accuser's stomach during the assault and any evidence of sex in the mayor's office and Seaton's office.

Mendels testified that she discovered a long, brown hair on the mayor's couch cushion and a stain on a throw pillow found with a black light. Mendels also testified to finding a sex toy in a gift box, condoms and a makeup-stained white button-down shirt with blood stains on it in Seaton's desk. Mendels also recounted finding a used condom in the trash can in the common area kitchen.

The trial is expected to last a day and a half.

Stay tuned for updates to this story on air and online.

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