SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Testimony resumed 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. Here are highlights from Wednesday testimony:
Prosecutors: Someone tried to delete surveillance video
Prosecutors say a total of 34 minutes of surveillance video from the night of the alleged sexual assault were missing from the city's internal network.
Caddo ADA Hugo Holland questioned a city Information Technology (IT) employee, who testified that only a few people had the "superuser" privileges required to access the surveillance video system inside Government Plaza. Rick Seaton, he says, was one of them.
That IT expert testitfied that the missing video was also backed up on a server and recovered. The recovered video shows Seaton and the alleged victim walking in from the garage to the stairwell and around a corner. There are no cameras on the 2nd floor, where the Mayor's administrative officers are, or any other floor at Government Plaza.
"Mom, the cop raped me."
Prosecutors presented three text messages received by her mother that said, "Mom, the cop raped me." "Mom, my phone died. I'm at the Mayor's office downtown. Officer Seaton. Help" and, misspelling Seaton's last name in the final text, "Mom, his name is Rick Seston."
Soon-to-be ex-wife takes the stand
Seaton and his wife of 15 years are currently in the process of divorcing. Andrea Seaton took the stand Wednesday morning, telling the court that none of the sex toys, lubricant or condoms found in his desk were used during sex in their marriage. On the stand, Andrea Seaton was asked by the defense whether her testimony had anything to do with trying to win complete custody of the couples' children. She said, "No."
A sexual assault forensic examiner also took the stand Wednesday morning, telling the court that she found lacerations on the accuser that do not insinuate rape, only rough sex. She also testified to finding a wound where the woman's bellybutton ring had been torn out as Seaton allegedly pulled her pants down.
The bench trial got under way Tuesday with testimony from a Caddo Parish Sheriff's Deputy, who recalled hearing Seaton say,"I could do something with that, she's kind of cute," in reference to the alleged victim.
A Shreveport police officer recounted how the young woman tearfully explained that she had been raped by a man she referred to as "Officer Seaton." A bail bondsman told the court he encountered the woman at the jail on the night of the alleged rape, saying she asked for help bailing her boyfriend out. He says she also asked for a ride, telling him him the "detective" waiting outside had been touching her inappropriately and refused to stop.
Video evidence was also introduced, showing Seaton offer the woman a ride instead of taking the chartered bus a Shreveport Police Officer had placed her on to send her back to her hotel. The video shows the woman getting off the bus and getting into a golf cart with Seaton.
The court also heard from a forensic expert, who testified to the confirmation of Seaton's DNA on a condom found in the common kitchen in the Mayor's offices inside Government Plaza. The woman's DNA was also found in the outside of the condom. Seaton's attorneys say the encounter was consensual.
Seaton's defense opted for a bench trial, conducted before a judge without a jury. It's expected to wrap up Wednesday.
Stay tuned for updates to this story on air and online.
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