DA ‘pretty shocked’ by former PE teacher’s guilty plea to amended charge
Parents thankful justice got served without putting their kids through pain, trauma of getting called to testify, prosecutor says
BENTON, La. (KSLA) — Once a proud coach and a teacher of young kids, 50-year-old Aubrey Perry Norcross now is a convicted sex offender.
The former Bossier Parish educator’s trial on a charge of first-degree rape was supposed to start Tuesday, Aug. 3.
But in a shocking twist, Norcross surprisingly took a plea deal just before jurors were to hear the attorneys’ opening statements.
It was early fall 2018 when parents whose children attended Benton Elementary heard the news:
“A Benton elementary PE teacher indicted for first-degree rape. Indicted for first-degree rape. His name, Aubrey Norcross. The alleged rape reportedly happened on the elementary campus.”
A teacher and championship coach was under arrest.
Facing 11 child sex charges including rape, video voyeurism, child molestation and indecent behavior with a juvenile. And all of his alleged victims were under the age of 11.
“And this is a perfect example of grooming,” Bossier-Webster District Attorney Schuyler Marvin explained. “You know, you build up a level of trust with a small child of that age and then act on it when you think the time is right.”
After spending almost three years in jail, Norcross was finally set to stand trial this week in a Bossier Parish courtroom in Benton.
But moments before opening statements, Norcross made a surprise move.
“I was pretty shocked. I didn’t expect it,” the district attorney told KSLA News 12.
Norcross agreed to plead guilty to one count of attempted first-degree rape of a child, a crime that is sending him to prison for 50 years at hard labor.
“And he has a form of cancer; I’m not exactly sure of the extent of his cancer. So that is, in effect, a life sentence,” Marvin said.
The families of the children who allegedly were Norcross’s victims were in the courtroom Tuesday, the district attorney said. “They were very happy with the plea, everyone that we talked to.”
Those parents are thankful that justice got served without putting their kids through the pain and trauma of getting called to testify on the witness stand, Marvin added.
“To put a kid through that again and relive all that is horrible. And that very well could have been very detrimental to them for a long time,” the prosecutor said. “So we’re very satisfied with it.”
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