Jury sworn in for trial of accused RPSO informant rapist
Opening arguments begin on Nov. 17 in the Rapides Parish courthouse
RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - After nearly two full days of jury selection, a jury has been seated and sworn in for the trial of Antonio Jones, 48 of Alexandria, for the alleged rape of an RPSO informant during a RADE operation in January 2021.
Opening arguments will begin 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 17. Counsel expects arguments and testimony to only take one day.
In this trial, Jones faces two counts of third-degree rape.
The woman Jones is accused of raping was wearing a microphone and hidden camera during the operation, in which she was looking to buy meth from Jones. During the course of the operation, Jones allegedly forced her to perform oral sex on him twice.
Prosecutors will be presenting that recording as evidence in the trial, despite the defense’s objection, after Judge Chris Hazel denied a motion to suppress the video on Monday and admitted it into evidence for trial.
The alleged rape garnered national attention following the September publication of a story by the Association Press (AP), which reported the story aided by information provided through interviews and confidential law enforcement records. The report detailed how the operation was not monitored in real-time, so deputies assigned to the case were unaware of the alleged attack until the informant met with her handlers after the fact.
Jones is represented by Phillip Robinson, Randall Hayes and James Word. Assistant District Attorneys Brian Cespiva and Johnn Giordano are prosecuting. Judge Chris Hazel is overseeing the trial.
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