Trust your gut, a weeping mother said outside the courtroom where she had just watched a man plead guilty to raping her 9-year-old daughter.
The Sun Herald is withholding the woman’s name to avoid identifying both her daughters, whom the man was sexually exploiting. The mom said that she had her suspicions, but Quincy J. LaBauve struck everyone as a good man.
He was not. LaBauve, a 32-year-old from Biloxi, pleaded guilty Tuesday to three felonies: sexual battery of the child, or rape, and two charges of sexual exploitation of a child.
As soon as Judge Roger T. Clark began reading one of the charges, family members of the girls led their distraught and enraged father from the courtroom. As relatives held tight to his arms, the father said, “I hope you rot in hell.”
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LaBauve admitted that he downloaded to his phone more than 200 images and more than 20 videos of 8-12 year-old girls being sexually exploited. He sent some of those images to his laptop computer, too.
An investigator with the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office began investigating the activity, Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn told Judge Clark. Ogburn said the investigator secured a search warrant and found the images on LaBauve’s phone and computer.
Using an obscene name associated with sex with minors, LaBauve was chatting online with other pedophiles who directed him to a private room where he could find links to images of sexually exploited children.
The attorney general’s office first charged him with sexual exploitation. The mother of the 9-year-old and 11-year-old then asked if the man, known to the family, had behaved inappropriately with them.
They confirmed her worst fears. He had strapped down the 9-year-old while she was home sick from school and forced himself on her, photographing her so he could share the images online, Assistant District Attorney Ian Baker said.
The Biloxi Police Department, working with the attorney general’s office, then began an investigation that led to the rape charge.
Three other felony charges of touching a child for lustful purposes are pending against LaBauve in Gulfport.
Clark set sentencing in the Biloxi case for 9 a.m. Nov. 15 in Gulfport.
The mother of the abused girls said after court that she should have trusted her gut, but she instead believed the manipulative LaBauve had her daughters’ best interests at heart.
“He ruined my daughters,” she said outside the courtroom, tears streaming down her face. “He took away their innocence. They are never going to be OK. We had to get them a lot of treatment and they’re still not OK.”
LaBauve faces a sentence of up to life in prison on the rape charge and up to 40 years on each sexual exploitation of a child charge.
The girls’ mother said: “I’m just glad he finally, after all this time, admitted it. He owned what he did.
“I can go home and tell them that he won’t be able to hurt them anymore.”