A former Metairie resident who was convicted last month of raping a 14-year-old girl in her bed was sentenced on Thursday (Oct. 6) to 30 years in prison.
Marcus Harris, 40, was convicted Sept. 26 of the forcible rape, a crime carrying a sentence of up to 40 years in prison. He sexually assaulted the victim in February 2010.
The victim, now 21, testified during the trial that she was in bed when Harris entered the room, tickling her before forcibly raping her. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office recovered Harris’ seminal and epitheial DNA from her bed linens.
The victim reported the rape the following day at her school, setting in motion the investigation. However, shortly after the investigation began, Harris pleaded guilty to an unrelated charge of second-degree battery of his then-19-year-old girlfriend.
Following a four-year prison sentence for that crime, Harris was charged with the forcible rape. He denied committing the rape, and his attorney argued that the victim planted the DNA evidence on her bed linens.
Judge Ellen Shirer Kovach of the 24th Judicial District Court, who presided over the case and handed down the sentence, previously denied defense motions for a new trial and post-verdict judgment of acquittal.
Assistant District Attorneys Douglas Rushton and Lynn Schiffman prosecuted the case.