APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 16-172, DIVISION
"C" HONORABLE JUNE B. DARENSBURG, JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, STATE OF LOUISIANA, Paul D.
Connick, Jr., Terry M. Boudreaux, Anne M. Wallis, Joshua K.
Vanderhooft, Zachary Popovich
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, CARLOS ALBERTO MONTERO, SR.
Bertha M. Hillman
composed of Judges Fredericka Homberg Wicker, Jude G.
Gravois, and Stephen J. Windhorst
FREDERICKA HOMBERG WICKER JUDGE
Carlos Alberto Montero, Sr., appeals his convictions and
sentences for failure to maintain registration as a sex
offender, two counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile
under the age of thirteen, two counts of aggravated rape, and
sexual battery of a juvenile under the age of thirteen. For
the following reasons, we affirm defendant's convictions
and sentences but remand the matter to the trial court for
correction of errors patent.
OF THE CASE
April 28, 2016, a Jefferson Parish Grand Jury indicted
defendant with failing to maintain registration as a sex
offender by failing to make his community notification in
violation of La. R.S. 15:542 (count one); indecent behavior
with a known juvenile (DOB 12/28/95), wherein the victim was
under the age of thirteen, in violation of La. R.S. 14:81
(count two); aggravated rape upon a known juvenile (DOB
10/11/99) in violation of La. R.S. 14:42 (count three);
aggravated rape upon a known juvenile (DOB 11/30/00) in
violation of La. R.S. 14:42 (count four); sexual battery upon
a known juvenile (DOB 11/30/00), wherein the victim was under
the age of thirteen, in violation of La. R.S. 14:43.1 (count
five); and indecent behavior with a juvenile (DOB 11/30/00),
wherein the victim was under the age of thirteen, in
violation of La. R.S. 14:81 (count six). At his arraignment,
defendant pled not guilty.
April 13, 2017, the State filed a Notice of Intent to
Introduce Evidence of Other and Similar Crimes, Wrongs and/or
Acts Pursuant to Louisiana Code of Evidence Articles 404(B)
and 412.2, that was granted on April 20, 2017. On November 13,
2017, the State amended count one of the indictment to
reflect that defendant had previously been convicted of
carnal knowledge of a juvenile in violation of La. R.S.
14:80, in case number 02-4098 in the 24th Judicial District
Court on September 16, 2002.
November 14, 15, and 16, 2017, the case was tried before a
twelve-person jury that unanimously found defendant guilty as
charged on all counts. On January 8, 2018, defendant filed a
Motion for Post-Verdict Judgment of Acquittal, a Motion in
Arrest of Judgment, and a Motion for A New Trial, which the
trial judge denied. Thereafter, defendant waived sentencing
delays and the trial court sentenced him to imprisonment at
hard labor for ten years without benefit of probation,
parole, or suspension of sentence for his conviction for
failing to maintain his sex offender registration (count
one); imprisonment at hard labor for seven years for each of
his indecent behavior with a juvenile under the age of 13
convictions (counts two and six); life imprisonment without
benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence for
his aggravated rape convictions (counts three and four); and
imprisonment at hard labor for ten years without benefit of
probation, parole, or suspension of sentence for his sexual
battery of a known juvenile under the age of thirteen
conviction (count five). The trial judge ordered the
sentences to run concurrently with each other. This timely
Montero, Jr., defendant's son, testified that he was
living with his fiancée, M.L., and her four children
(her oldest son, D.S.; her oldest daughter, T.S.; her
youngest son, K.L., and her youngest daughter, V.L.) as a
family since early 2006 at 1904 Kentucky Avenue in
Kenner. Although Mr. Montero and M.L. are not
married, M.L.'s children refer to him as their stepdad or
stepfather and he is a father-figure to M.L.'s children.
Mr. Montero further testified that he allowed his father,
defendant, to move into their home in May of 2006. Mr.
Montero acknowledges that he knew that his father had been
previously convicted of carnal knowledge of a juvenile in
2002, but pointed out that defendant served his time for that
crime and he desired to reconnect with his father.
Montero asserted that defendant moved out of the Kentucky
Avenue residence at the beginning of 2007, moved back in
after August of 2007 to an apartment behind the house, moved
out in 2011, and moved back in again in October of 2015. Mr.
Montero acknowledged that he and M.L. argued because M.L. did
not want defendant living there; however, he insisted that
Montero testified that on January 8, 2016, he found a letter
dated "November 12" in V.L.'s bedroom that was
written by V.L. to her deceased father. In the letter, V.L.
talked about her mother and Mr. Montero arguing, after which
And I'm pretty sure you know about his dad. I'm also
pretty sure you know what he did to me. I want to say I'm
sorry I haven't told ma. I just don't her [sic] to be
heartbroken. I know that she got raped when she was in her
teens. So if I told her this, think about how she'll
react. I'll feel horrible.
Montero stated that after he read the letter, he immediately
texted V.L. and checked her out of school. He asked her about
the letter and she disclosed to him that defendant had been
sexually abusing her. Mr. Montero maintained that he did not
immediately call the police as V.L. asked him not to tell
anyone. He testified that he talked to T.L. and K.L. that
night and that they told him about "stuff" that
defendant had done to them also. He acknowledged that he and
his brother were at the house for several days afterwards
planning to kill defendant when Mr. Montero realized that was
not the best course of action. Mr. Montero then contacted
Kenner police and he and his family went to City Hall to
report the sexual abuse. He explained that he did not report
it from his home because he knew defendant "would
run." Mr. Montero testified that he made a report and
gave a statement.
Brian Saucier of the Kenner Police Department testified that
on January 12, 2016, he was dispatched to 1801 Williams
Boulevard where Kenner City Hall is located and met with Mr.
Montero and his family, who informed him that defendant had
been sexually abusing three of M.L.'s children. Officer
Saucier further testified that he later met with Detective
Peter Foltz who became the lead detective, and proceeded to
1904 Kentucky Avenue to apprehend defendant.
Foltz testified that in January of 2016, he met with Mr.
Montero and his family, interviewed the children separately,
and took a recorded statement from T.S., who was an adult at
that time. Detective Foltz subsequently referred K.L. and
V.L. to the Jefferson Children's Advocacy Center (CAC)
where forensic interviews were conducted and videotaped.
Detective Foltz testified that Mr. Montero informed him that
he believed there were other family members whom defendant
had sexually abused. Detective Foltz testified that Kelly
Holder, one of those family members, later contacted him and
disclosed allegations of sexual abuse by defendant from the
age twenty-one at the time of trial, testified that she lived
in Kenner with Mr. Montero, her mother, and her siblings,
K.L., V.L., and D.S. She also testified that defendant moved
into the house with them in 2006 or 2007, when she was about
eleven or twelve years old and in the seventh grade. She
explained that when defendant first moved in, he did not act
inappropriately but that his behavior started to change in a
way that made her feel uncomfortable.
also testified that in the early morning, before she would go
to school, there were times when defendant would come and lie
in bed with her, rub her hair, caress her, and try to kiss
her neck to wake her up. T.S. remembered defendant climbing
in bed with her and kissing her on the lips to wake her up in
a sexual way. T.S. testified that on one occasion, when she
was twelve or thirteen, defendant was kissing her on her
neck, and when she asked him why he was doing that, defendant
replied that he knew it gave her "goosebumps." She
thought that occurred within a few months of defendant ...