Inmate charged with kidnapping, rape for incident involving correctional officer

Photo provided by the St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 4:05pm

An officer at the St. Martin Parish Correctional Center was held captive by an inmate and sexually assaulted, officials say.

“It’s an ongoing investigation,” Major Ginny Higgens, St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office, said. “We’re currently in the process of collecting interviews, so it could take a while before we’re able to release what happened.”

What we do know is that the incident happened at roughly 7:45 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 30. That’s when inmate Melvin Celestine, 43, allegedly took the officer hostage in the laundry room, which is located in a secure area of the facility.

“He is a repeat offender,” Major Higgens said when asked about Celestine’s conviction. “He was booked in June 2011 for Breaking and Entering by the Breaux Bridge Police Department. Because he’s a repeat offender, he will likely be here for around 10 to 15 years.”

We’re told Celestine held the officer captive for a little over an hour.

“The situation was diffused and the incident was resolved peacefully,” Major Higgens noted. “Celestine sustained minor self-inflicted injuries prior to his surrender.”

Celestine is now facing additional charges of Aggravated Kidnapping and Aggravated Rape.

Officials could not provide any additional details relative to the assault and why it warranted the rape charge. We’re told the officer involved in the incident will be placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.


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