UPDATE: Leonard Palmer Convicted 2 Counts Rape, 1 Count Kidnapping, 1 Count Child EnticementPalmer Arrested In Rape Of 12-Year-Old Girl

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Normal UPDATE: Leonard Palmer Convicted 2 Counts Rape, 1 Count Kidnapping, 1 Count Child EnticementPalmer Arrested In Rape Of 12-Year-Old Girl

Post by NiteSpinR on Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:25 pm

November 17, 2011


THE GAZETTE
A Louisiana jail escapee caught more than three weeks ago in Colorado Springs has been linked to the Oct. 25 rape of a 12-year-old girl who was attacked while walking to a school bus stop near her home, Colorado Springs police said Thursday.

Leonard Palmer, who has been held in a Louisiana jail since late October, faces possible charges of kidnapping and sexual assault on a child after DNA evidence connected him to the rape, said Sgt. Mike Velasquez, with the Police Department’s Crimes Against Children Unit.

Word of the match brought “utter relief” to the rape victim, Velasquez said.

“This little girl is an inspiring person,” Velasquez said.

Police arrested Palmer the night of the rape on separate charges of escaping the West Carroll Detention Center in Epps, La., three days earlier. Palmer had been serving time for burglary and forgery.

He was the second of two Louisiana jail escapees caught in Colorado Springs that week.
Charles Magurn, who was serving time for “carnal knowledge of a juvenile” before escaping with Palmer, was captured by police on Oct. 24.

Around 8:40 a.m. the next day, the girl was pulled into an alley, beaten and raped while walking to her bus stop on the 400 block of E. Brookside Street, police said.

Later that night, police and members of the U.S. Marshalls Office set up a sting to capture the second Louisiana escapee at a Conoco gas station less than two blocks from the scene of the rape, police said.

Officers were told someone might pick Palmer up at the gas station, police said. In a ruse, officers coaxed him out of hiding and into the parking lot at 1433 S. Tejon St., where he was arrested, police said.

Investigators didn’t initially suspect Palmer was the attacker until a patrol officer that day noticed that one of the Louisiana jail escapees matched the attacker’s description, said Barbara Miller, police spokeswoman.

Samples of Palmer’s DNA were sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, and the results were handed down Thursday.

“Without that match, we wouldn’t be here today,” Velasquez said at a news conference Thursday.

While investigators waited for the DNAresults, officers released a sketch of the attacker.

Detectives also fielded numerous tips from a detailed description offered by the rape victim.

“For anybody who’s been a victim of this crime, it takes a lot of courage to do the things that she’s done,” Velasquez said. “I think she’s doing great. I’m amazed every time I see her.”


[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


Last edited by NiteSpinR on Sat May 18, 2013 1:55 am; edited 1 time in total

_________________
along comes a spider to sit down beside ya


Be Humble For You Are Made Of Earth~Be Noble For You Are Made Of Stars
avatar
NiteSpinR
Tech Support Admin
Tech  Support  Admin

Join date : 2009-05-30

Back to top Go down

Normal Re: UPDATE: Leonard Palmer Convicted 2 Counts Rape, 1 Count Kidnapping, 1 Count Child EnticementPalmer Arrested In Rape Of 12-Year-Old Girl

Post by NiteSpinR on Sat May 18, 2013 1:40 am

April 9, 2013

A Louisiana jail escapee was convicted Monday in the October 2011 rape of a 12-year-old girl who was attacked near her Ivywild neighborhood school bus stop and dragged by the arms into a nearby alley.

When guilty verdicts were announced against Leonard Palmer, the now-14-year-old victim began to cry — and accepted comfort from her mother, a victim’s advocate and a half-dozen police investigators sitting behind her.

“There’s a lot of closure,” the girl told The Gazette after the hearing, keeping her composure and smiling even as her hands shook from emotion. “It makes me feel so much better knowing he’s going to be sent away for a long, long time.”

Palmer, 24, was convicted of two counts of rape and one count each of kidnapping and child enticement.

He faces the equivalent of life in prison at his sentencing, scheduled for July 12. A repeat felon with between six and 10 felony convictions in Louisiana, Palmer also faces habitual offender trial in June.

If prosecutors can establish that his criminal history is accurate, he will be eligible for a quadrupled sentence.

Surrounded by supporters in court Friday, the girl was alone on the morning of Oct. 25, 2011, when she set off for the five-minute walk to her bus stop, no more than two blocks from her East Brookside Street apartment complex.

That’s when she was accosted by a sunglasses-wearing stranger, she told the jury during the trial, saying he first tried to persuade her to accompany him to a convenience store, then resorted to force when she tried to run. He grabbed her hair and dragged and pulled her by the arms into an alley behind a contractor business.

Palmer, who had escaped a West Carroll, La., jail earlier in October, was arrested that same day on escape charges but denied raping the girl, who went home and reported the assault after being let go.

He was extradited to Louisiana and later brought back to Colorado after DNA analysis linked him to semen recovered from the girl after the assault. Confronted with the evidence against him, Palmer gave a partial confession in which he claimed that he tried to have sex with the girl but couldn’t penetrate her.

“She wasn’t worried about nothing else — just catching that bus,” Palmer said. “She wanted to go to school.”

The girl was punched in the eye when she tried to flee, she said — leaving a dark bruise.

During closing arguments Monday, Palmer’s defense attorney, Cynthia McKedy, tried to persuade the jury the girl was lying about being forced into the alley, saying there was no evidence of bruising on her arms. She also attacked the reliability of DNA testing in the case, saying police failed to maintain proper evidence-collection procedures.

Prosecutors Chris Sutton and Andrew Reitman countered that besides Palmer’s semen, the authorities also had the girl’s eyewitness identification of him — both in a photo lineup for police and again in court — as well as his words on tape.

The girl attended most of the testimony at the trial, which led to missed classes and a mound of unaddressed homework.

Classmates quickly figured out that she was the one they had heard about from television news reports, she said.

Aside from a few weird looks, they offered sympathy, and her friends “have been great,” she said.

“I try not to bring it up in my school life,” she said.

Sitting in a courtroom only feet away from the man she identified as her rapist took its toll on her, she said.

“I try to take breathers, and I’ve got my good luck charms,” she said, displaying a necklace that opens to hold written prayers: a gift from her mother.

At least one of those prayers was answered with Monday’s verdict, her mother said.

“It was a blessing. I’m elated. I’m dazed. I’m in awe.”


[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

_________________
along comes a spider to sit down beside ya


Be Humble For You Are Made Of Earth~Be Noble For You Are Made Of Stars
avatar
NiteSpinR
Tech Support Admin
Tech  Support  Admin

Join date : 2009-05-30

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum