NEW ORLEANS (CN) – The mother of a young boy in New Orleans claims in court that her son was sexually assaulted by a city police officer who was then-acting president of a youth mentoring program.
In a complaint filed in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court, plaintiff Daniell Savoy says Marcellus White, 46, sexually assaulted her son while he was participating in the Sigma Beta Club.
According to the Jan. 26 complaint, the club is an auxiliary of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, and is committed to meeting the cultural, athletic, social and educational needs of children.
White, a 19 -veteran of the police force, is currently being held in Orleans Parish Prison on charges he committed dozens of sex crimes against boys between the ages of 10 and 15 over a period of more than a decade.
Savoy says her son joined the Sigma Beta Club in 2013, and that he was one of several boys who spent the weekend at White's home in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans in February 2016.
During the weekend, the complaint says, White sexually abused the child. The lawsuit does not say how old the boy was at the time.
Savoy is seeking unspecified damages on behalf of herself and her son.
A representative from Phi Beta Sigma’s national headquarters in DC did not immediately reply to a phoned request for comment Monday.
In September, White was put on emergency suspension after a 14-year-old male relative accused him of performing oral sex on him, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper.
White resigned from the police department two months later, just as new sex crime charges involving three more victims were brought against him.
The warrant outlining the charges said White’s sexual abuse of underage boys was pervasive and spanned years, the Times-Picayune reported.
The warrant says White’s position as a police officer, as a karate instructor in the Iberville housing development and as president of the Sigma Beta Club gave him ample access to his victims.
One of White’s alleged victims claims he was 10 when former police officer began raping him, but that he endured the abuse because he feared his assailant, the newspaper said.
That victim, the story said, is still under age 20.
The three victims listed in White’s November 21 arrest warrant said they knew White because they were members of the Sigma Beta Club.
The authorities say after White's initial arrest in September, he acknowledged his sexual abuse of his accuser in an email exchange with the boy's mother.
.“Words cannot explain how I am sorry for the pain I have caused the family and the trust I have violated,” White wrote the boy’s mother, according to court documents.
“In closing, you're asking me to step down from ‘all’ positions that would put me in contact with minor children. … Doing that would put further financial stress on me, due to having no other source of income other than my job,” White wrote.
Roderick James, the attorney who filed the lawsuit on Savoy's behalf, did not immediately respond to a request for clarification on whether Savoy's child was a new, as-yet unidentified victim of White, or if he was one of the youths listed on the prior warrants for White’s arrest.
White’s attorney, Bruce Whittaker, said in a phone call Monday that he had no comment related to whether the victim listed in this lawsuit is a new victim.
Whittaker said he was not aware any new lawsuits had been filed against his client.
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