Defense attorney says Robinswood administrators falsely accused

Defense attorney says Robinswood administrators falsely accused

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -Administrators of a local facility for the developmentally disabled, are accused of covering up the alleged rape of a patient.

The defense attorney for two of the defendants from Robinswood School says they have been falsely accused.

It was one of those now charged - who initially reported the allegations to authorities.

Though it’s called Robinswood School, it’s described as an intermediate care facility for the developmentally disabled -- located at Chennault.

According to a sheriff’s office report, in January 2018, assistant administrator Thomas Leonards called the sheriff’s office to report Willie Stevens, an employee at Robinswood school, was having a consensual relationship with a female resident at the facility. A relationship said to have started in November 2017.

Fast forward to October 2018, Stevens was arrested for first-degree rape.

Now, he's been indicted on that charge, with bond set at $100,000.

The indictment says the victim suffers from traumatic brain injuries and profound developmental disabilities and is legally unable to give consent.

The report says she has a behavioral age of five years and five months.

Also, three Robinswood employees - administrator Gordon Propst, assistant administrator and safety manager Thomas Leonards, and social services coordinator Jeanette Thevis - have been indicted for accessory after the fact to first degree rape, obstruction of justice and failure of duty to report.

Propst and Leonards are represented by defense attorney Todd Clemons who says his clients are falsely accused and that he will vigorously defend them. Clemons was not available for an interview but says he will get back with us once he has an opportunity to review the indictment.

At last word, none of the three administrators had been arrested.

We called the attorney general's office for more information but have not heard back. Stevens' attorney says he has consistently denied the allegations.

Stevens’ defense attorney King Alexander says “experience has taught me that offense reports and law enforcement press releases are often inaccurate. Once I eventually receive the actual recordings of what people said, and other document, which can take months for me to get, some of these early reports end up looking like intentional spin meant to influence public opinion about a case right from the beginning.”

Alexander says, “people naturally tend to form lasting opinions about cases based on the first thing they hear.”

“I’ve learned to suspend belief until I’ve seen the actual evidence and done my own digging,” he said.

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