LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Eric Lafleur is guilty of attacking five women over 19 days in 2016.
After deliberating three-and-a-half hours, jurors found Lafleur, 42, guilty as charged of two counts of first-degree rape, one count of sexual battery, two counts of carjacking, one count of simple robbery and one count of simple burglary. He was also found guilty of one count of third-degree rape, a responsive verdict from another charge of first-degree rape.
The two first-degree rape convictions will each bring a life sentence.
The jury left the courtroom at 1:55 p.m. after listening to jury instructions, which took 35 minutes to read. The verdict was delivered around 5:45 p.m.
Chief Felony Prosecutor Jacob Johnson says the streets are safer.
“This defendant is an especially evil sexual predator," Johnson said. “He views women as sex toys. He views their rights as non-existent. He is a classic misogynist. But he’s way worse. He rapes, he attacks, he physically beats. That’s what he does. He’s evil.”
“This man is an opportunist," said Assistant D.A. Charles Robinson, who was lead prosecutor on the case. "He’s a rapist and a violent, violent attacker and a thief. I’m so grateful for the jury to concentrate and wade through so much evidence and so many different cases. I’m just very grateful they returned the verdicts that they did.”
Johnson told jurors he’s seen desperate attacks on victims but never five of them. He applauded their courage in coming forward saves others.
“If the guy is allowed to continue to victimize folks, he ain’t going to stop," Johnson said. “They get more emboldened each time they get away with it.”
One dangerous encounter with Lafleur happened to a woman moved with pity who tried to help him and give him a ride.
“Kindness, he took advantage of that," Robinson said. “She was trying to help him, trying to see the good in him and he took advantage of that and attacked her. Unfortunately for him, that is what put the nail in his coffin because that ended up being our strongest case. That particular witness wound up being extremely credible.”
Defense attorneys had argued the evidence did not line up with the allegations. They declined to appear on camera. Lafleur’s sentencing is set for Nov. 22.