Leesburg police officer charged with sexual battery
FDLE launches investigation on Henri Larue
The Leesburg Police Department has arrested one of its own officers on Wednesday on sexual battery charges after a three-month investigation.
According to police, Officer Henri Bart Larue, 25, has been charged with sexual battery with a firearm after the investigation into the Oct. 3, 2012, incident. Larue stopped a woman for a broken tail light and found she had active suspensions, so he placed her under arrest and started to take her to the Lake County Jail, according to reports.
On the way to the jail, he allegedly stopped at an alley behind a shopping center, removed her handcuffs and forced her to perform a sex act, the report states.
Leesburg police officials said the department is ashamed of the allegations.
"From the chief's office on down, like I said, we're just mortified about those allegations," said Captain Rob Hicks of the Leesburg Police Department. "Once we determined the nature of the allegation was criminal we immediately brought in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement."
The victim has hired Attorney Mark NeJame to represent her. NeJame held a news conference on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the charges his client filed.
"The car was stopped, (the victim's) door was opened, one of her handcuff was left on one wrist the other was released, and while the officer was armed with a gun strapped to his side, a uniform and badges, he beckoned her to commit a sex act on him," NeJame said.
Larue was employed with the department starting in March 2012 and was placed on paid administrative leave October 5, 2012, following the allegations. He is now on unpaid leave.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted an investigation, along with the Leesburg Police Department. The department will determine if Larue will be taken off the force.
Larue's bond has been set at $100,000.
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