Man charged with kidnapping, raping French Quarter tourist

Louisiana

Authorities say Thomas Anthony Singleton kidnapped and raped a 52-year-old woman from Texas who was visiting New Orleans with her spouse in March.

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WWL-TV)- Prosecutors say a man has been charged with kidnapping and raping a tourist near Harrah’s New Orleans Casino earlier this year.

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office said an Orleans Parish grand jury handed up an indictment Thursday against 33-year-old Thomas Anthony Singleton on first-degree rape and second-degree kidnapping charges.

Authorities say Singleton kidnapped and raped a 52-year-old woman from Texas who was visiting New Orleans with her spouse in March. The woman reportedly told police that she was attacked after deciding to take a walk near the casino between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. while her spouse was playing blackjack.

The woman told investigators she was grabbed by her arm and pulled into an alley by a man who then took off her clothes and raped her. The attack left injuries that caused her to bleed “profusely” and required emergency surgery.

Cannizzaro’s office said the woman was able to convince her attacker to return to the casino with her, and once inside she grabbed him and screamed that she had just been raped. The attacker was able to walk out of the building before police were called.

Investigators were able to collect DNA from the victim before her emergency surgery which later matched Singleton’s DNA that had been stored in a national database, prosecutors said. Singleton was later found after being jailed in Plaquemines Parish on unrelated charges.

Cannizzaro’s office said the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab confirmed new DNA collected from Singleton matched the sample taken from the victim after the attack.

Singleton faces a mandatory life sentence if convicted on the rape charge, prosecutors say. He faces an additional 5-40 years if found guilty of the kidnapping charge.

Criminal District Judge Benedict Willard has set a $1 million bond for Singleton.

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