New Orleans man pleads guilty to Gretna rape and burglary for 20-year sentence

A New Orleans man was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Monday (July 25), after he pleaded guilty as charged to raping a woman in her Gretna home before stealing some of her belongings.

Tyrone Brown, 26, pleaded guilty as charged to forcible rape and aggravated burglary in connection with the July 4, 2015 crime. He also will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life after he is released from prison.

About 9 a.m. on the day of the crime, Brown followed the 32-year-old woman home from the French Quarter bar where she had gone the night before. The woman, who was intoxicated, went into her home and neglected to lock the door behind her.

When she emerged from her restroom moments later, Brown was inside of the house. That’s when he forcibly raped her. She blacked out during the crime, she told the Gretna Police Department.

While the victim was unconscious, Brown stole her laptop computer, ATM card and cash. He went to a business on North Broad Street in New Orleans, where he solicited another man to try to use the victim’s ATM card to make a purchase.

Police used surveillance video footage from that business and the French Quarter to develop Brown as a suspect. He was arrested and provided a partial confession.

Calling Brown “a serial rapist” because of another rape conviction, Judge Ellen Shirer Kovach of the 24th Judicial District Court accepted the plea and sentenced him to 20 years for the forcible rape and 15 years for the aggravated burglary. She ran the sentences concurrently. Brown will serve the prison time without the benefit of probation, parole or suspended sentence.

Brown then pleaded guilty to being double offender under the state’s habitual offender law and sentenced him to 15 years, which is run concurrently. His previous conviction was for theft of a motor vehicle in 2009 in New Orleans, for which he received five years of probation.

A panel of potential jurors was assembled outside Judge Kovach’s courtroom on Monday morning, for the start of jury selection, when Brown agreed to plead guilty.

Assistant District Attorneys Douglas Rushton and Seth Shute prosecuted the case.

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