Federal jury finds Florida man guilty of sexually assaulting Fort Polk officer
LAKE CHARLES, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a federal jury found a Florida man guilty Tuesday of sexually assaulting a female officer stationed at the Fort Polk Military Base.
Maurice Antuan Speights, 32, of Tallahassee, Fla., was found guilty of one count of sexual abuse. United States District Judge Patricia Minaldi presided over the trial, which started Monday and ended Tuesday with the jury returning the guilty verdict after deliberating for 50 minutes. According to testimony and evidence admitted at trial, the defendant, a civilian, was an acquaintance who was temporarily residing at a relative’s home in Leesville. Speights, the victim and a female friend went out for a night of drinking on October 20, 2013. At trial, the female friend testified about the events of the evening. She stated that the victim was so intoxicated that by the time the three returned to the female friend’s home, the victim passed out. The female friend and Speights had to carry the victim to an upstairs bedroom. An FBI agent testified that during an interview, Speights acknowledged engaging in sexual intercourse with the victim but claimed it was consensual. The victim took the stand during the two-day trial and testified that she had no memory of anything that occurred until she woke up in the middle of the night with the defendant sexually assaulting her.
The case was brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office because the crime occurred on the Fort Polk Military Base where the United States has exclusive jurisdiction.
Speights faces up to a lifetime in prison, life of supervised release, registration as a sex offender and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing has been set for January 12, 2017.
The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command and the FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Luke Walker and David C. Joseph are prosecuting the case.