Woman sent undercover into drug house was raped twice and police failed to intervene

The assault on 13 January 2021 went unnoticed by sheriff deputies who were down the street during the alleged rape

Andrea Blanco
Tuesday 13 September 2022 21:56 BST
Oakland police searching for robbery, attempted rape suspect

A woman working undercover was raped while conducting an operation for law enforcement and wearing a hidden microphone and camera. Not only did her handlers not intervene or protect her from the attack, but she was also charged with an unrelated crime mere weeks later.

The heinous assault on 13 January 2021 went unnoticed by Louisiana’s Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies who were down the street from the alleged rape. The assailant was reportedly Antonio Jones — an accused meth dealer known as “Mississippi” — who the woman had been tasked to buy drugs from, the Associated Press first reported.

The victim was sent inside the home by herself and without any police backup, even though Jones, 48, has been a repeat offender for nearly three decades. As the suspect allegedly forced the woman to perform oral sex on him, her cries and pleas for the attack to stop were recorded but not transmitted in real time to authorities.

The AP reports that Jones even briefly stopped to carry out a drug deal before resuming the brutal attack. It is unclear how long the assault lasted but Jones was only arrested after the distraught victim exited the house and alerted law enforcement.

“We’ve always done it this way,” former Lieutenant Mark Parker told the AP, seemingly trying to justify the blatant disregard for the informant’s integrity that may have directly led to her rape. “She was an addict and we just used her as an informant like we’ve done a million times before. Looking back, it’s easy to say, ‘What if?’”

Antonio Jones faces rape charges in the assault of the informant

Mr Parker also said that deputies monitoring the home thought the victim was safe because another person had entered after her. An official speaking under condition of anonymity said they had listened to the recording of the rape and it was “one of the worst depictions of sexual abuse [they] have ever seen.”

“Just the audio from it is enough to turn your stomach,” the official told the AP. “It’s a female being sexually brutalized while she’s crying and whimpering.”

Responding to AP’s inquiries, the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office largely dismissed criticism on why the victim wasn’t monitored in real-time, saying the department has since “changed the way [they] do business.”

Only after the rape did the sheriff’s office begin using real-time recording equipment during sting operations despite such technology being available for decades.

The home where the informant was assaulted (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

It’s unclear what the victim was promised in exchange for her cooperation as an informant but nearly a month after her assault she was charged with drug possession regarding a previous arrest.

She has also been reportedly pulled over and “booked on possession charges at least twice” since the assault. The AP report notes that she pled guilty “to possessing drug paraphernalia last year and was placed in behavioral health court in lieu of jail time.”

When contacted by The Independent, the victim’s attorney, Harold Murry, declined to comment on the incident, citing respect for his client’s wishes. He did tell the AP that the audio was “absolutely horrible.”

“She has a drug problem and I don’t know if she’s going to be able to beat it or not,” Mr Murry said. “But when you become a snitch, they keep your drug problem going and then they arrest you for it.”

The operation and the resulting rape have not led to any internal reviews.

Jones was initially charged with second-degree rape, false imprisonment and distribution of meth after the January arrest. Following the AP’s reporting of the case in August, the rape charge was downgraded to third-degree.

His trial is scheduled for mid-October.

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