LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - “It’s not uncommon unfortunately," Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso said. "We don’t get to pick and choose when they occur or when they happen or when we investigate it. It’s when they’re presented to us and we have an obligation to investigate them and see if there’s enough evidence to make an arrest and in these cases there were.”
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office has arrested 5 men in 5 days on charges of carnal knowledge of a juvenile.
On April 7, deputies arrested Timothy Ancelet, 57, for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old girl.
On April 11, CPSO said they arrested Kenneth Mark Duplechin, 55, and Darren Shawn Gaspard, 54, following an investigation. Both men bonded out of jail on Friday.
Darryl L. Zeno is accused of having sex with the girl on three separate occasions in January and providing drugs to her, according to a spokesperson for CPSO, who said the allegations were reported to them on March 22.
After receiving a report on April 15, CPSO began an investigation which lead to the arrest of Raymond Casteel, 30, who confirmed to detectives he had sex with a 15-year-old girl.
“In some of the cases we’ve just recently had, we’ve even upgraded some of the charges because of the evidence that has come up later on in the investigations.” Mancuso said.
Mancuso says so far this year, CPSO has arrested 7 people on felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile charges, and 2 have been arrested on misdemeanor charges. In 2018, 17 were arrested for the felony charge and 10 were arrested for the misdemeanor charge. In 2017, 18 people were arrested on the felony charge while 15 were arrested for the misdemeanor charge. Mancuso says the charge varies depending on age.
“If there is more than a four year age difference, then it becomes a felony charge," Mancuso said. "If a 16 year old has sex with a 20 year old, then it would probably be considered a misdemeanor charge. It depends on the exact age and how you calculate that, but a felony is anything over that. Anybody who is 17 years or older and lack of knowledge, of course, of the person’s age is not relevant.”
Mancuso says while social media played a part in only a few of the recent cases, he says it has made it easier for predators to connect with minors.
“Hopefully moms and dads out there are having talks with their children about their personal safety and how they are introduced to people and interacting with people, especially if they’re older and not taking advantage of them.” says Mancuso.
CPSO says some of the investigations from arrests this past week are ongoing.