Lusher student says stranger raped her 2 weeks before she reported it


A 16-year-old Lusher Charter School student who reported being raped at school told authorities her attacker was a stranger.

That was one of a few new details contained in a police report in the case that remains under investigation.

The girl arrived at the Children’s Hospital emergency room around 1 a.m. last Friday (Oct. 31) and told authorities a man attacked her on the Freret Street campus two weeks before, on Oct. 17, the initial incident report says. She said it happened around 3:45 p.m.

The report, written by New Orleans Police Department Sex Crimes Detective Vernon Hayes, includes the suspect’s race, but does not include any other suspect information and police have not released any further details. It is | The Times-Picayune policy to withhold suspects’ race when it’s not relevant to the story.

In the police report, NOPD classified the crime as an aggravated rape, which under state law indicates one or more of the following: the perpetrator overcame the victim’s resistance with force; the offender threatened her with violence; the perpetrator brandished a dangerous weapon; or the victim suffered a mental or physical infirmity that prevented resistance.

Lusher CEO Kathy Riedlinger did not respond to a request for comment. Heather Harper, a public affairs representative, said the school can’t comment because it’s an open NOPD investigation.

NOPD did not provide any new information Tuesday.