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Press Release

Louisiana Man Sentenced for Conspiring to Violate the Federal Housing Rights of Woman with Disabilities

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Jody Lambert, 24, was sentenced today in the Eastern District of Louisiana to 120 months imprisonment for conspiring with members of his family to prevent D.P., a woman with cognitive disabilities, from exercising her right to rent and occupy a dwelling without injury, intimidation, and interference because of her cognitive disabilities.

“Lambert and his co-defendants conspired to deprive a vulnerable victim of a safe and secure place to live, forcing her to live outside in a padlocked cage, because of her disability,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband. “This disgraceful conduct is a hate crime, and the Department of Justice will continue to make combatting hate crimes a high priority. Today’s sentencing reflects our commitment to seeking justice for victims.”

“Ensuring the Civil Rights of all citizens, especially the most vulnerable is paramount to our country,” said Peter G. Strasser U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana. “The sentencing of Mr. Lambert sends a clear message that anyone who denies a citizen her rights will be held accountable.”

"Today's sentencing of Jody Lambert, for his inhumane treatment of a family member, serves as a stark reminder that justice does prevail,” said Eric Rommal, FBI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge. “As the primary federal agency charged with enforcing federal civil rights statutes, the FBI New Orleans Field Office will continue to aggressively investigate all credible civil rights allegations in Louisiana."

On Oct. 18, 2018, Lambert pleaded guilty to one count of civil rights conspiracy. At the plea hearing, Lambert admitted that for several months prior to June 30, 2016, in Amite, Louisiana, he conspired with other members of his family to force D.P. to live in a locked cage in their backyard because of her cognitive disabilities and because they did not want her living in the family’s mobile home. Lambert admitted that he and his family members locked D.P. in the cage at night with a metal chain and padlock, and that he and other family members had placed branches and a tarp over the cage to hide it from view. Lambert further admitted that while locked inside the cage, D.P. was required to use a five-gallon bucket as a toilet. Lambert also admitted that, prior to forcing D.P. to live in the cage, he and his family had forced D.P. to live in their backyard in a locked tent and in a locked shed. Lambert admitted that throughout the time D.P. lived with the family in Amite, Louisiana, Lambert and his conspirators subjected D.P. to routine physical violence and threats of physical violence in order to intimidate D.P. into these living conditions.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Field Office in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Tangipahoa District Attorney’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Risa Berkower and Nicholas Reddick of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Assistant United States Attorney Julia Evans, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and by the Tangipahoa Parish District Attorney’s Office.

Updated June 9, 2023

Civil Rights
Disability Rights
Press Release Number: 19-660