Broussard police chief reacts to suit

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Police Chief Brannon Decou is being hit with a suit claiming “negligence” following the 2013 conviction of a school resource officer in the department, who molested a then 15-year-old student.

Referring to the suit, Chief Decou released this statement to News 10 on Friday:

“My department has not been served as of yet, however the case you are referring to was handled above board by my department.  What is most disturbing is that the incident being referred to occurred many years ago which is now politically motivated and attacks the men and women of the Broussard Police Department who work diligently every day to keep the citizens of this city safe!”

“With election day only three months away, the suit against Chief Decou, the department, the city and former school resource officer Henry Bates landed in parish court on Tuesday.

Last year, Bates was sent to prison after being convicted of molesting the plaintiff back in 2009.

According to the suit, Bates was hired by the department as a school resource officer in 2010, while “it is alleged there were prior complaints made against…Bates…by numerous minor females for misconduct including…inappropriate propositions, touching and conversations, which Chief Decou was aware of but took no action on.”

The suit then goes on to say the defendants in this case “failed to protect her from the predatory nature of…bates by not removing him from the school or properly investigating the complaints of other minor females.” 

According to the plaintiff’s attorney, Bates pleaded guilty to molestation of a juvenile and oral sexual battery of a juvenile.

He’s now serving out a 20 year sentence following his conviction in 2013.

We were unable to reach Broussard Mayor Charles Langlinais for comment as of news time. 

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