BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – An attorney for a 19-year-old Southern University student is to speak outside Baton Rouge City Hall ahead of filing civil litigation against the city.
On Tuesday, an arrest warrant was filed against Baton Rouge Police Department Officer Donald Steele. The charges are of second-degree kidnapping, malfeasance, and misdemeanor sexual battery.
Steele was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish jail on Wednesday morning.
Attorney Ronald Haley is representing the student with support from the NAACP. Haley claims the officer “abused his authority to sexually violate and harass a vulnerable young college student.”
The victim’s attorneys will hold a press conference on the steps of City Hall at 2 pm on Aug. 25.
In the arrest warrant it states on June 23, 2021, the victim was driving back to meet a friend. She noticed a marked police unit in another apartment complex parking lot. After leaving her complex the car flashed its lights to pull her over.
She said Officer Steele told her she was drinking and driving but said she would not be getting a ticket because “she was cute”. The warrant claims he then took out his cellphone and began asking personal questions.
The victim said two LSU officers drove up and Officer Steele briefly spoke to them and they drove away. She claims he told her to follow him to the airport otherwise he would put her in handcuffs.
The victim states she followed the officer to an abandoned warehouse near the Hollywood Casino. When they arrived she said he began to make sexual remarks to her. She claims he began to feel her breasts, tugging on her waistband and asked what kind of porn she likes to watch.
The victim told the officer she had to go to work and started her car to find the battery dead. Steele helped her start the car and she left.
The 19-year-old said the officer texted her when she got home multiple times that were sexually graphic. She went to stay with her father since she did not feel safe after waking up to more messages.
The two LSU officers were interviewed about the incident and they said Steele did not have his lights on which meant the dashcam was not activated. They said they were told he was “out with his sister and everything was OK”.
The warrant states grounds for belief are based on the victim’s statements, photographic lineup of identification, and GPS data showing she was at the locations she mentioned.
Steele is to appear in court on Oct. 13.