Statement from Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul D. Connick, Jr.:
First and foremost, at this time of horrible tragedy, my thoughts and prayers are with the family of Officer Michael Louviere, the family of Simone Veal, and the entire law enforcement community.
Sylvester Holt, Jr. (DOB 8/3/1984) was booked in Jefferson Parish with first-degree rape last year (under JPSO Item No. E-02768-16). The victim who made the rape allegation told authorities that she met the unknown suspect on May 4, 2016, while she was on a street near a bar in New Orleans and willingly got into his vehicle with him believing they were going to his home in Metairie. However, the victim said he stopped at a location in Metairie and raped her at gunpoint in his car. After being identified as the suspect and subsequently arrested, Holt denied raping the victim and claimed the sexual encounter was consensual.
In December, JPSO detectives and DA’s Office investigators attempted to locate the victim in New Orleans, to no avail, and the victim did not respond to voice messages left on her cell phone. On the night of Dec. 20, 2016, the victim left a voicemail with, and later sent text messages to a DA’s Office investigator, saying she did not wish to pursue charges. She was subsequently located and brought to the DA’s Office. During the course of the interview, she said for the first time she had met Holt on a previous occasion. She claimed she saw him again on the night of the incident and reiterated the rape allegation, but again insisted that she did not wish to pursue the charges.
A follow-up meeting was scheduled, but she continued to be uncooperative. With assistance from the JPSO, the victim was located and transported to the DA’s Office for the follow-up interview on Dec. 29, 2016. At that time she remained uncooperative and insisted that charges be dropped. She requested and signed an affidavit saying she wished to withdraw the charges.
On Jan. 5, 2017, she left a voicemail with a DA’s Office investigator, inquiring about the status of the investigation and reiterated her desire not to pursue charges against Holt. She once again requested that the charges be dropped.
Therefore, after reviewing the evidence, and in light of the victim’s unwillingness to cooperate with the prosecution, the DA’s Office determined there was insufficient evidence to proceed without her participation. As such, the charge was refused two weeks ago, on Jan. 6, 2017.