NEW ROADS, La. (BRPROUD) – New Roads Police Chief Kevin McDonald says the department fired officer John Caleb Pace on Tuesday following an investigation into sexual assault claims. McDonald said three teens filed a report Monday after accusations against Pace had gone public.
“Based on his response in the text messages, we got with our attorney and it was probably in our best interest to go ahead and terminate,” said McDonald.
According to McDonald, the case is being turned over to the Attorney General’s criminal investigation unit. Text messages between one of the alleged victims and Pace — obtained by our investigative unit — detail the alleged abuse.
“YK [You Know] what you did. I’m 17 and I was sleeping. You sexually assaulted me, I told you plenty of times that I only saw you as a brother.”
Pace responded: “The end result was I failed you, I hurt you, I don’t remember any of it, but if you say it happened, then it happened. I wish I could make things right with you.”
During the internal investigation Pace said the allegations are false, according to McDonald.
“He denies, you know, verbally that the allegations are true, but I guess we will see that in the end,” said McDonald.
The teens’ attorney, Ron Haley, said he is pleased with the New Roads Police Department’s swift action.
“Good,” Haley said. “Someone who does this to kids should not have the privilege of wearing a badge, should not have the power that comes with having the badge, the power to make an arrest, the power to use force, and in this case the power to use influence for nefarious reasons.”
Videos and photos taken by the teens show them in the Pace’s home, raising the question: Why were the juveniles sleeping over in his place?
“He said he was mentoring them, trying to get them into the armed forces,” said McDonald.
“The parents believed that they were in great hands because what better hands to be in than a police officer? So if you are going to spend a week with your buddy surely you’re not going to get into any trouble, surely you’re not going to be in any danger when you’re living with the police,” Haley said.
BRProud’s investigative unit will provide forthcoming updates on this story.