NEW ORLEANS – A former New Orleans Police Department officer pleaded guilty to several accounts of sexual assault on Monday, according to a report from The New Orleans Advocate.
Marcellus White, 46, was sentenced to 25 years in prison by Criminal District Court Judge Tracey Flemings-Davillier, under the terms of his deal with prosecutors, after pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual battery of a victim under 13 years old.
The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office agreed to the plea deal in order to spare White’s victims the trauma of testifying at trail, according to Assistant District Attorney Boncycle Thornton. White would have faced a maximum of 99 years in prison for the five charges.
White has been in custody since his arrest in September 2016. Police said that several victims came forward to tell them of “pervasive” abuse by White during 2000 until 2016.
According to the report, White gained access to many of his victims through his leadership role at the Iberville Scorpions Karate Academy where he taught martial arts, and the Sigma Beta Club, a program of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity where he mentored youths.
Police say White molested several victims while hosting them on overnight stays at his Algiers home. The investigation determined that he abused at least 10 children.
White must register as a sex offender for life if he is ever released and he still faces two lawsuits in Civil District Court.