Judge Prepared to Sentence Sex Abuse Defendant to 6 Years

A DC Superior Court judge said she is prepared to sentence a sex abuse defendant to six years of incarceration in accordance with the plea deal he took.

Bertrand Lebeau pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual abuse and unlawful entry back in August for actions that took place on Aug. 29, 2019.

At the sentencing, the victim read her impact statement aloud to the court. She called the assault “something I will deal with for the rest of my life”. She also described her experience dealing with the aftermath of the assault “as if I was grieving the loss of the person I was before that night”. 

Defense attorney Prescott Loveland then took to the stand. He described representing Lebeau as “a true privilege”. He explained how Lebeau lived a fairly untroubled life as an accomplished musician until his early 20s when he was diagnosed with a mental illness, became the victim of abuse and was displaced by Hurricane Katrina. He said that he wishes there was a system other than prison to deal with cases such as his client’s. 

According to the proffer of facts, Lebeau was looking through an apartment window and saw the victim sleeping. He entered the apartment and the victim awoke to him performing non-consensual sexual acts on her. 

Lebeau only stopped when the victim forced him off her. She asked him if she had allowed him to enter her home. He said yes but she rebutted, saying she did not. Lebeau gave the victim his phone number and left the apartment. 

Lebeau’s mother also spoke before the court during the Dec. 10 proceedings. She said that her son was a well-behaved and kind child, but the traumatic events changed his life forever. She called her son “a wonderful, loving human being ”and noted that “since being in St. Elizabeths he is so much better”.

Lebeau was deemed incompetent to stand trial in 2019 and transferred to St. Elizabeths Hospital, DC’s psychiatric institution, for treatment. He was found competent in 2020 and remains at St. Elizabeths.

Lebeau told the victim in his statement that he “prays every day” that she overcomes any obstacles he placed in her life. 

Parties asked Judge Juliet McKenna to formally accept the sentence of eight years with two suspended followed by five years of probation, which was settled in a plea offer for second-degree sex abuse. Loveland asked to hold off on imposing the sentence until early next year so that they have time to ensure Lebeau will be receiving adequate mental health treatment when he enters prison.

Judge McKenna set a date to formally accept the plea on Jan. 25.