LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL) -- A Lafayette man has been arrested on allegations he raped a relative 40 years ago while she was still under 12 years of age.

State Police Trooper Stephen Hammons said they first received information in January that 66-year-old Joseph Thibodeaux allegedly raped the girl.

"Detectives began investigating the complaint and they learned the encounters occurred 40 years ago," Hammons said.

Thibodeaux was taken into custody, Hammons said, and booked into the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center.

If convicted of aggravated rape, Thibodeaux could be sentenced to life in prison or face the death penalty. He could face up to 99 years in prison on the aggravated incest charge.