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Jury convicts New Orleans man of three aggravated rapes in 1990s

New Orleans police arrested Rickmon again in 2014, on the day he was released from prison, to 16 years to a 20-year sentence for aggravated burglary. He has been in prison since that day.

Three women, three rapes

In one instance, a young woman was awakened in her bedroom by a man with a gun. He threatened to kill her if she didn’t comply. She did. And after it was over, she told jurors, she wrapped herself in a towel and curled into a fetal position as evidence of her assault seeped into the white towel.

It’s been three weeks since their wedding anniversary.

In another instance, a woman who put a key in her front door was dragged at gunpoint next to the house. He hit her. He kicked her. He raped her. The police collected her dirty purple underwear.

The third survivor told jurors she pulled a pillow over her head so she wouldn’t have to watch the man rape her in her bed. After that he went down the stairs. “It seemed like it took him forever to get out,” she recalled.

“There I have ‘Fire!’ screamed”

Police, responding to a neighbor’s 911 call, took her to a hospital, where her body became the scene of the crime.

DNA results questioned

Rickmons defense attorney Bradley Phillips questioned the collection of evidence and the results of DNA tests, some of which were only conducted after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city and flooded the police department’s central evidence repository.

Each of the women was assisted by family or neighbors before police arrived and secured the scenes, Phillips argued, potentially contaminating samples before technicians placed them in sealed containers. “We don’t know what happened to the evidence, who touched it,” Phillips said.

Although prosecutors Mary Glass and Naomi Jones defended the quality of the samples, Phillips said they may have been corroded after the hurricane: “The [DNA] The results are only as good as the material that went into these test tubes,” he said.