A Patterson man has been sentenced to two life terms in prison as a serial sex offender, 16th Judicial District Attorney Bo Duhé announced today.
On May 4, 2023, after a multi-day trial, a St. Mary Parish jury unanimously convicted Arthur Donald Lacoste, Jr., 56, of Patterson, of Sexual Battery and Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile, according to the 16th Judicial District Court.
The conviction stemmed from inappropriate sexual conduct with a juvenile victim whom Lacoste had befriended. The inappropriate conduct occurred over a period of years and continued until 2020, when the victim filed a report with the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Following an investigation into the complaint, the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office obtained an arrest warrant for Lacoste.
Officials say the maximum sentence for Sexual Battery is ten years at hard labor, without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence, and the maximum sentence of Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile is seven years at hard labor. However, Louisiana has special sentencing provisions for serial sex offenders that require them to be sentenced to life imprisonment without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
Lacoste is a registered sex offender. In 1998, he was convicted of multiple counts of Molestation of a Juvenile and Sexual Battery involving more than one victim. In 2004, he was convicted of indecent liberties with a juvenile, authorities say.
Seeking to impose these special sentencing provisions in this case, the District Attorney’s Office filed a Serial Sex Offender Bill of Information.
On November 16, 2023, a hearing was held before the Honorable Keith R.J. Comeaux.
Judge Comeaux found that Lacoste was a serial sex offender and sentenced Lacoste to life imprisonment without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence for his Sexual Battery conviction. Judge Comeaux sentenced Lacoste to a second term of life imprisonment at hard labor without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence for Lacoste’s Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile conviction. Judge Comeaux ordered the sentences to run concurrently.
Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Reasoner prosecuted the case with assistance from Heather Hendrix.