A janitor in Hammond now faces a Sexual Battery charge as allegations that he groped a student attending summer school were reported to law enforcement.

According to the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office, the allegations were reported to their office on June 30. Allegedly, 40-year-old Levan Harris asked the female to help him move some furniture in a vacant classroom. After she went to help him, Harris allegedly offered her money, which she declined. That is when Harris allegedly put his hand under her shirt and began rubbing the money and his hand on her breast.

Louisiana law defines sexual battery as the following:

A. Sexual battery is the intentional touching of the anus or genitals of the victim by the offender using any instrumentality or any part of the body of the offender, directly or through clothing, or the touching of the anus or genitals of the offender by the victim using any instrumentality or any part of the body of the victim, directly or through clothing, when any of the following occur:

(1) The offender acts without the consent of the victim.

(2) The victim has not yet attained fifteen years of age and is at least three years younger than the offender.

(3) The offender is seventeen years of age or older and any of the following exist:

(a) The act is without consent of the victim, and the victim is prevented from resisting the act because either of the following conditions exist:

(i) The victim has paraplegia, quadriplegia, or is otherwise physically incapable of preventing the act due to a physical disability.

(ii) The victim is incapable, through unsoundness of mind, of understanding the nature of the act, and the offender knew or should have known of the victim's incapacity.

(b) The act is without consent of the victim, and the victim is sixty-five years of age or older.

According to law.justia.com, Harris could face anywhere of up to 10 years in prison or no less than 25 years in prison, depending on the age of the alleged victim. Harsher sentences are doled out when the victim is less than 13-years-old.

The alleged incident happened at Ponchatoula High School.

Ponchatoula High School, google street view
Ponchatoula High School, google street view

Harris was located a short time later and was booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail.

As a reminder - and as pointed out by law enforcement - all persons accused of a crime are innocent until proven guilty.

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