Lake Charles, Los Angeles (KPLC) – Twenty-seven-year-old Joseph Hunter Constance received a maximum sentence of forty years in prison when convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl.
Judge Clayton Davis said the violence and destruction inflicted on the victim and her family should not be underestimated and that punishment was justified.
At the trial, it was found that the victim had only reported the rape after her 11-year-old sister revealed – under anesthesia – that Constance had been saying inappropriate things to her and making her uncomfortable.
Attorney General Hope Buford is the division chief of the Special Victims Unit. She said she was proud of the victim for having had the courage to tell her story:
“The victim is the one who should get all the credit in this case. She was brave enough to come forward and tell the story of the rape that happened to her when she was 13,” Buford said.
However, defense attorney Todd Clemons called Constance’s accusation a liar.
“I will call her a liar because I firmly believe she is a liar. I am absolutely convinced that she falsely accused my client of raping her. Therefore, for this reason I was not shy, I did not hesitate to call her a liar because that is what I firmly believe, based on the evidence.”
However, Buford said all the victim, now seventeen, should have had justice that prevailed:
We presented our case to twelve jurors, who were unbiased and had never heard of the case. They sat within three days of testimony and heard all the evidence presented and they came back with a guilty verdict of second-degree rape,” Buford said.
Clemons expected the ruling to be overturned on appeal and overturned because he said the judge was biased and unfair.
“Joe Constance never raped anyone. Falsely accused of rape. Unjustly convicted of rape. Clemons said Joseph was denied his constitutional right to a fair trial.”
However, Buford opposed and denied that the state was always in its way. I expected that the ruling will work.
So, it will be up to the third district to decide.
Clemons also said he was not allowed to ask all the questions he wanted to the victim, when she was at the witness stand.
He said the investigation had shortcomings and he was not allowed to ask about them. Clemons said the victim said her phone was in the room during the rape, but there was no evidence that the officers tried to get the phone.
He said investigators confiscated the upper mattress, but there was no evidence that it had been tested or what the tests proved.
The DA office said that Joe Hunter Constance is the nephew of longtime fugitive Joe Constance. Constance the Elder is wanted for the murder of his estranged wife in 2011.
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