SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - UPDATE: KSLA News 12's Adam Hooper sat down in an exclusive interview with the victim in the Seaton rape case to talk about how she faced her rapist on the stand and how she plans to move forward.
"I didn't sleep for the whole January of 2011. I didn't sleep this past week, said the victim."I felt nervous this whole past year just thinking that he would come to where I live. That's what I was nervous about. But, I don't have to be worried about that anymore."
Looking back at the defense, the victim says she finds it hard to believe that anyone would think that she wanted to be intimate with Seaton."I don't even understand why he was saying that it was mutual...consensual or something. Why would I want to do anything like that," said the victim.
The victim says now that Seaton is behind bars, it is time for a break."Now, now it's over so now i just get to go home now," said the victim.
An obtaining a setting hearing to determine when Seaton will be sentenced is set for February 1st at 2 p.m. Seaton faces up to 40 years in prison.
Caddo Parish District Judge Ramona Emanuel has found Rick Seaton guilty of forcible rape and abuse of office.
Closing arguments wrapped up shortly after 4:00 p.m. in the trial of the former Shreveport Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, accused of raping an 18-year-old woman in the Mayor's office on the night of the 2010 Independence Bowl.
Day four of the bench trial began shortly after 2:00 p.m. with the State's closing statements, focusing on Seaton's attempts to show his authority through his position with the city to the alleged victim.
Assistant District Attorney Bill Edwards also pointed out that, while several witnesses corroborated the alleged victim's state of intoxication, Seaton is the only person disputing that she was drunk.
In a step-by-step replay of the events of the night in question, the State argued that Seaton's actions from on in the evening demonstrate that his ulterior motive was to get the 18-year-old girl alone.
The state's closing arguments lasted just under an hour. Then it was defense attorney Marty Stroud's turn to make his closing case. Stroud opened by stating that he believes Seaton has been convicted in the court of public opinion, sternly blaming the media for their reporting on the case.
Stroud also told the court that he does not condone his client's actions, but that they never reached the level of criminal activity.
Stroud suggested that the state is asking the court to overlook inconsistencies in the timeline, in particular, discrepancies between the times some text messages were sent and time stamps on video surveillance footage. Using a detailed and lengthy powerpoint presentation, Stroud pointed out that some of the texts the young woman sent to her mother alleged rape "three or four times" before sex had even taken place.
In closing, Stroud asserted that the state did not meet its burden of proof, and also pointed out that the victim still has ten months to file a civil suit for compensation. A conviction in the criminal case would bolster her civil case.
Judge Emanuel deliberated approximately 45 minutes before returning the verdict shortly before 5 p.m. The judge also denied a defense request for bond and ordered Seaton remanded to the custody of the Caddo Parish Sheriff.
Seaton will return to court at 2 p.m. Feb. 1 to obtain setting.
With this conviction, Seaton could face up to 40 years in prison at hard labor. An abuse of office conviction could bring anywhere from one to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.
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