A 42-year-old man who prosecutors called a serial rapist at trial has been sentenced to two life sentences for first-degree rape.
Eric Dwayne Lafleur was found guilty Oct. 24, 2019, on two counts of first-degree rape, one count of third-degree rape, one count of sexual battery, two counts of carjacking, one count of simple robbery and one count of simple burglary.
Lafleur's charges stemmed from incidents prosecutors called a "crime spree" that spanned multiple days in 2016, occurred in several locations, and involved attacks on five victims ranging in age from 17 to 60.
He was sentenced in state district court to two life sentences on both counts of first-degree rape, with count one and count two to run consecutive to each other and both at hard labor without the possibility of parole. On his other convictions, he was sentenced to three seven-year terms at hard labor without the benefit of parole; four 15-year terms at hard labor without the benefit of parole; 5-10 years at hard labor; 6-10 years at hard labor without the possibility of parole; two years at hard labor; and 8-20 years at hard labor without benefit of parole.
Prosecutor Charles Robinson, in his closing statement at trial, said, "There was no rhyme or reason for what he (Lafleur) does other than control. He never tells the truth. He's bizarre."
Robinson said Lafleur's victims were all ages and from all walks of life.
"He strangled one victim and threatened to kill her but said he didn't want to catch a murder charge," Robinson said. "With another victim, he threatened to choke her out. The defendant wants you to believe one of the victims was a prostitute. That's the defense of a misogynist and a rapist. This guy is a liar who committed first-degree rape."
Defense attorney Natasha George told jurors Lafleur had used drugs for most of his life. She said in 2016, Lafleur was "using drugs, selling drugs, and sometimes trading drugs for sex."
George said, "Were they (the women) trying to buy drugs and it went bad? In Louisiana, life means life. Eric's life is literally on the line."
Prosecutor Jacob Johnson, in rebuttal comments at trial, asked jurors to "take a stand with the survivors."
"I've seen an attack (in court) on a victim before, but I've never seen these desperate attacks on five victims at once," Johnson said. "It's a desperate defense argument to say these women were part of the dope world. There is nothing that came out at trial to back that up. I'm asking you to say no to nonsense and stand for these survivors in finding Eric Lafleur guilty."
One woman told jurors she lost consciousness during an attack, saying Lafleur choked her, raped her, and forced her to perform oral sex.
Another woman testified she was 17 when Lafleur raped her for about three hours at a local motel. She said he put his hands around her neck and choked her, telling her if she screamed he would kill her.