Ascension Parish DA Screws up a Child Abuse Case..and a 13 year old girl dies

by Robert Nagle on 8/31/2008

in Legal,Right and Wrong

Last week, I made a post about the 13 year old girl named Megan Leigh Crouch who committed suicide. Here is the video that the mother made about her:

Apparently Megan Crouch’s mother has made a website about the injustice surrounding Megan’s case. Apparently, Megan was abused sexually at an early age by her stepdad. Even though the mother reported it to the police in Ascension Parish in Lousiana and even though the girl gave videotaped testimony, and even though the stepdad was arrested, and even though charges were filed, the man was set free after bail was paid by his mother. She writes:

In January 2005 we moved to Kentucky. We decided that we were going to make a fresh start. Megan wanted to put the past behind her and move forward like a normal little girl her age. I agreed but also explained to her that we still had the upcoming trial. She said she understood but until that day she wanted to move forward without having to think about everything in the past. The DA’s office would schedule the trial and we would receive the summons for court only to be told days before the date that it had been canceled. This went on about 5 times. Each time this happened, my little girl was scared to death to face him in court and would work her courage up for it only to be let down again. It was devastating her.

I was told by the courts that I had to let my ex see my youngest daughter because there were no charges against him for her, only my older daughter. I was forced to drive to Louisiana once a month for a two hour supervised visit with my youngest. Of course, I had to take both children to the visitations. I couldn’t leave Megan home alone. She had to endure taking her sister to see HIM! I was also told I had to let him call my house to speak to my youngest regularly. Megan sometimes answered the phone and had to hear his voice. I had no way to stop his calls or visitations. It was silently killing her and I didn’t realize how bad.

In January of 2007 my ex didn’t show to reschedule the next trial date and a bench warrant was put out for him. The police and the DA’s office had his home address, all phone numbers, and his work address. He was never picked up. Instead, he has been walking the streets possibly molesting who knows how many other children.

If this weren’t bad enough, this is how the mother was treated after Megan’s suicide:

My ex called again a few nights later (Robert adds: after the suicide) and told me I was violating a court order by not letting him talk to Regan. When I told him she does not want to talk to him because of what happened to Megan his response was, “Megan didn’t shoot herself because I molested her.” He has accidentally admitted it to me on several occasions by things that he says when he’s angry. After he called, his mother called stating that I was violating a court order. My husband told her that until her sick son was put in jail NO ONE was talking to Regan. Her response was, “There isn’t going to be a trial now, charges will be dropped – Megan is dead!” After she called his sister called screaming that we were being rude to my ex and her mom! HELLO! WHAT DOES SHE EXPECT!?!

I received a letter on the 25th of July regarding an upcoming “Status Trial” for August 28th at 9am. I took off work and drove down to Louisiana only to find out they had sent me the wrong papers. It was for another man with the same name. I sat in court for two hours to find this out. I met with the prosecutor on my case while I was there and found out that the bench warrant that was supposed to have been issued in January of 07 had NEVER been signed by the judge before it was filed with the court house. Another mistake made regarding the whole situation. Maybe if things had been done right from the beginning and my ex had been forced to stand trial within a reasonable amount of time then my daughter might still be here. I truly believe she needed closure and needed to see him go to jail for what he did. Waiting so long for justice silently destroyed her.

Personal Note: I stumbled upon this youtube video quite by accident and another video by one of Megan’s friends. It is a shocking video to see because the presentation of facts is so straightforward. I have looked very skeptically at this video (as I do all Youtube videos claiming to be true). The basic facts check out about Megan’s death check out (see this obituary and this obituary). Also, I have exchanged a few emails with the mother, who seems credible and reasonable (as reasonable as you’re going to find under the circumstances). I have not talked with her nor have I met her, nor have I verified that these charges did occur nor have I made an attempt to hear the other side of the story. But it’s hard to believe a person would go to all this trouble to stage this kind of story. This story sounds very credible.

Here is the problem. Megan’s mom is predictably outraged by how the DA office refused to prosecute the child abuser. She is outraged that the DA office kept telling Megan that the trial would come, and then it never did. Based on the mother’s account of events, Ascension Parish’s DA office deserves a huge amount of blame for the hell they put the daughter (and her family through).

Once again, we are presented with these questions: a Louisiana man is charged with sexual abuse of a child. Why has it taken 4 years for this case to go to trial? Why should he have the right to see the other daughter (when there are allegations he abused her as well). Why is this man still free?
13 year old girl who committed suicide in June 2008

See also: my thoughts on the tragedies of dying young.

Sept 1 Update: Apparently, the latest video names the person accused of child abuse. The person’s name is: Danny Dewayne Wallice

April 18, 2009 Update. Unfortunately  I did not update with the latest news. Apparently, the mother’s video has now been removed from Youtube, and in December, 2008, the  judge refused to allow  the videotaped evidence Megan gave into the trial.   When I last heard from the mother, she did not know if the DA’s office would be able to continue with the trial.  I have had a brief email exchange with the mother, but nothing I can report here. Unfortunately, this may turn out to be one of those stories that never really ends; it’s simply a neglected case which the justice system didn’t get to.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: