• Emotional testimony at start of trial for Leesburg cop accused of sex battery


    TAVARES, Fla. - It was an emotional first day of testimony in the trial of a former Leesburg police officer accused of sexually battering a woman on the way to jail.
    The alleged victim took the stand as the prosecution's first witness and told jurors about the night she claims she was forced into sex acts, after being arrested by Henri Bart Larue.
    "I was scared. I'm in a dark alley, there's an 8-foot wall on this side," she told the jury. "The alley seemed like a mile long."      
    The woman claims Larue raped her on the way to jail and even laughed when it was all over.
    "He turned back around, with this smile on his face, and said, 'I can't believe you actually did it,'" she testified. "I felt a million different emotions. I felt degraded. I felt filthy. I felt used. I felt scared."
    The woman often broke down as she described details of the incident that she first told police, and then Channel 9 about nearly two years ago.
    "The only thing I could think of was him hitting me or shooting me or something," the woman said.
    In the courtroom the woman's supporters sat arm-in-arm.
    On the other side of the courtroom Larue's family, including his wife, sat and listened.
    "He swore an oath to protect and serve. Not only did he fail to protect (the alleged victim), he sexually battered her. The only thing he served was his own selfishness," assistant state attorney Nick Camuccio said during the trial.
    Larue's attorneys spent much of the afternoon trying to pick apart the woman's story, saying part of her story don't add up.
    "(She) didn't give one version of events, two versions of events -- she gave four different versions of what happened to four different people," said defense attorney Tom Jerla.
    The defense repeatedly highlighted how the victim called Channel 9 while waiting for Leesburg police to come and take her statement about the alleged assault the following day.
    She told jurors she didn't want the incident "swept under the rug."
    She fired back at Larue's defense team, who tried to pick apart her recollection of events and her actions afterwards.
    "I am sorry you can't understand that, because you are not the victim of a rape," she told defense attorneys.

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    Emotional testimony at start of trial for Leesburg cop accused of sex battery