Human Trafficking in St. Landry Parish: Opelousas Man Accused of Committing Vile Sexual Acts on Children
A convicted sex offender is in deep trouble with the law once again as he now finds himself at the heart of a human trafficking case in St. Landry Parish.
42-year-old Kenneth Rene of Opelousas has been registered Sex Offender with the St. Landry Parish Sex Offender Unit since September 11, 2006. He has been on the radar for local authorities and they are now tying him to rape and sexual battery charges, along with the human trafficking charges, after a couple of children have come forward.
First Victim Comes Forward
On January 21, 2021, school officials at a St. Landry Parish school reported to the Sheriff's Department that a juvenile student was allegedly forced to perform inappropriate acts while vising Rene at his home in Opelousas. The juvenile told Opelousas General Hospital South Campus medical personnel that Rene had been doing inappropriate sexual things to her. The information was then forwarded to Opelousas Police from both the Sheriff's Department and Opelousas General.
On August 2, 2022, Opelousas Police Department requested a forensic interview from the Hearts of Hope Child Advocacy Center located in Opelousas. When the forensic interview was conducted on August 11, investigators learned some terrible details. Allegedly, Rene would perform explicit sexual acts on the female juvenile while they were at his home. Then, he would allegedly manipulate, coerce, and force the juvenile to reciprocate the acts on him. What's worse, the girl told the forensic interviewer that Rene would start giving her a white powdery substance as she got older. It was a substance that she said would make her dizzy and tired. Then, when she would wake up, she said she would hurt all over and that Rene told her they had fun the night before.
The girl told authorities that Rene would cause pain to her private area if she told him no. He would then allegedly reward her with gifts, food, and lavish trips.
Rene is also accused of sexually abusing her within the parish outside the city limits prior to January 2021.
After this interview, the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office and the Opelousas Police Department began a joint investigation.
After a second forensic interview at the Center on September 27, 2022, more details were provided by the juvenile indicating that Rene had multiple social media accounts.
Kenneth Rene Is Arrested
Three days later, Rene was booked into the St. Landry Parish Jail and charged with 3 counts of unlawful use or access to social media.
On October 5, 2022, Rene was charged with 6 counts of human trafficking and was given a bond of $300,000.
But, that's not all investigators found.
Another Victim Gives Vile Details
Investigators say they learned Rene had been allegedly sexually abusing another girl, who says he would do inappropriate sexual acts to her from the time she was 4-years-old to 8-years-old. Then, she says she would have to do the same to him.
So, two days later, Rene was given additional charges:
- First Degree Rape,
- 3 counts of Sexual Battery
- 3 counts of Oral Sexual Battery
Rene was then given a bond of $310,000 for these charges.
“Something that we would like to bring to light is, even if no sexual act is performed, the promise of something of value in order to obtain a sexual act is still a crime,” points out St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz.
Numbers to Remember
- Hearts of Hope 24-hour Crisis Line; 337 233-7273
- National Human Trafficking Hotline; 1-888-373-7888
- Crime Stoppers at 337-948-TIPS, download the P3 app on your mobile device or simply dial ** TIPS on your mobile phone to tip. All calls are anonymous and you can earn a cash reward for information leading to an arrest.