HARAHAN, La.-- A Harahan landlord pleaded guilty this week to forcing a 16-year-old girl to perform oral sex on him under the threat of eviction.
Kenneth Bryant, 47, pleaded guilty to three counts of molestation of a juvenile in Jefferson Parish court Thursday. Judge Lee Faulkner sentenced him to 5 years in prison, but suspended three of those years.
Bryant will have to register as a sex offender.
The landlord not only threatened to throw the family of a 16-year-old girl out of their apartment if she didn't perform sex acts on him, but the girl’s parents say Bryant followed through with that threat after she reported the crime to police.
“He threatened her with her job. Threatened to have her fired from her job. Threatened to have us evicted. Threatened to have my sons evicted if she didn't do these acts,” the girl’s father, who asked to remain anonymous, said.
The father says his daughter was coerced and even forced to perform the sex acts.
Bryant was first arrested by Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s deputies in early December 2016, with another arrest by Kenner Police a week later for carnal knowledge of a juvenile and molestation of a juvenile.
Bryant was initially booked on a first-degree rape charge after the first victim told a child advocate Bryant forced her to lay down and perform oral sex on him and that she was able to shove him off before he forced himself on her further.
He pleaded guilty to three lesser counts in Jefferson Parish Thursday.
Police records show the girl says the sex acts happened in three different places, at Bryant's Harahan house, in his Kenner office and in his vehicle outside her Metairie place of employment, with Bryant consistently threatening her if she refused.
A Kenner detective reported he found text messages of an argument between the two about the girl not wanting to have vaginal sex with Bryant.
“We told him she was at the hospital reporting it. He was trying to get me to stop her,” the father continued, “He told us we had to leave. We were evicted. He fired my son immediately.”
Back in late August and early September, the man’s son was working for Bryant's land surveying company.
The victim herself was also supposed to be working for Bryant when he was president of BFM Corporation, a large land survey management company with a long client list that includes Orleans and Jefferson parishes.
The girl told police one of the attacks, which led police to charge Bryant with first-degree rape, happened in the bathroom at BFM's Kenner headquarters.
Since Bryant's first arrest, BFM owner Ralph P. Fontcuberta says he fired Bryant and that, "I am sorry I ever met him. I am disgusted with this."
Bryant was later arrested and charged with stealing equipment from BFM Corporation. That case is still pending in Jefferson Parish.
“I'm afraid with the money and the backing of the politicians, he's always having dinners and lunches with them. I'm afraid that someone is gonna help him get easier charges, a slap on the wrist,” the father said last year, explaining why he wanted to speak out about the situation.
He considered Bryant a close friend to his family, describing frequent nights spent talking on Bryant’s porch. Bryant’s house is across the street from the apartment complex he owns. That’s where the girl and her family used to live.
The girl’s father says he wanted to speak out about what happened in case other young women have been victimized, to encourage them to come forward and report it to Kenner or Harahan Police.
Now that Bryant has admitted to molesting his daughter, the girl's father said he is hopeful his daughter will be able to begin the healing process.