April 12, 2007
Reported By: Lee Peck
On April 10th, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office received a call from Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. Officials reported treating a woman who said she had been raped earlier that morning by an acquaintance while visiting his home.
Calcasieu Sheriff's Chief Deputy Gary "Stitch" Guillory says an investigation revealed 49-year-old James Dennis Sanford, Jr. had brought the victim to his residence at 850 Beau Avenue in Moss Bluff where he beat, bound and raped her.
"Between the hours of 4 a.m. and 6 a.m., Mr. Sanford under the pretense of picking up some money, coaxed her into a room with a weapon, where he made her tie herself up before blind folding, raping and severely beating her."
According to the victim, Sanford then made her drive him to work. The victim then went to the hospital and reported the crime to authorities.
This is not the first time Sanford has been arrested. Records show he has a criminal record dating back to the 70s in Texas and Louisiana. Guillory says Sanford was released from prison in December 2007 after time served for an armed robbery in Calcasieu Parish. Sanford was on parole until the year 2082.
Neighbors tell 7 News Sanford had only been living in the home with his uncle for about four to five months. They say the news of the ex-con's criminal history and accusations he now faces come as complete shock.
"It's a very family oriented subdivision and it was very, very alarming. It feels like they took away part of your rights because part of your safety net is gone. I now feel like we have to watch over our shoulder."
Authorities say overwhelming evidence found at the scene and the courage of one woman will help them in their case against Sanford.
"We wouldn't want someone else to go through this same ordeal. We are very fortunate this woman had the courage to come forward and that we could take him off the street and maybe prevent this from happening to another person," said Guillory.