New criminal charges have been brought against a north Natchitoches Parish man and his wife arrested in connection with what Sheriff Stuart Wright described as a “very disturbing” sex abuse case in November of 2021 in Readhimer.
On Nov. 9, 2021, Kenny James Len Choate, 37, of the 100 block of Strange Road, Readhimer was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center by NPSO detectives charged with Molestation of a Juvenile, Aggravated Crime Against Nature, Possession of CDS Schedule II Methamphetamine-2nd or Subsequent Offense, Possession of Firearms by a Person Convicted of a Felony and Cruelty to Animals.
Choate has remained in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center (NPDC) since his arrest.
NPSO detectives say new developments and information in the ongoing case involving a second victim and forensic search of evidence conducted by the Northwest Louisiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) led to additional probable cause for additional criminal charges involving Choate and his wife, Crystal Choate.
The criminal warrants were signed by a 10th Judicial District Judge.
On April 4, detectives went to NPDC where Kenny Choate was arrested on new charges of First Degree Rape, Aggravated Crimes against Nature, Sexual Abuse of an Animal and Pornography involving Juveniles. This is in addition to his original charges.
On April 1, deputies arrested Crystal Michelle Choate, 36, while at her residence in the 100 block of Strange Road, Readhimer. She was transported and booked into the NPDC charged with Pornography involving Juveniles and Accessory after the Fact to Molestation of a Juvenile.
Crystal Choate’s bond has been set at $250,000 by a 10th Judicial District Judge.
Detectives include that while both Kenny and Crystal Choate are now behind bars, the investigation is actively ongoing and asks anyone that has been a victim or has any information to contact the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division at 318-357-7830.
Case Agent is Detective Sgt. Jared Kilpatrick
The investigation began Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, at approximately 10:28 p.m. when the mother of a juvenile under the age of 14 contacted the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office from Orange Texas Police Department reporting allegations of sexual misconduct involving her daughter while visiting her father’s residence in north Natchitoches Parish.
A joint investigation then began between the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office and Orange Texas Police Department.
Orange Texas Police Department briefly interviewed the victim and her mother then accompanied them to a Beaumont hospital for an examination and evidence collection.
The investigation continued.
On Monday, Nov. 8, the mother and victim traveled to Natchitoches to meet with sheriff’s detectives at the NPSO Criminal Investigations Bureau.
Detectives interviewed the victim and arranged an independent forensic interview with the Rapides Children’s Advocacy Center in Alexandria.
The findings and facts in those interviews are case sensitive and will not be released but can be summarized as “very disturbing” according to Sheriff Wright.
Detectives learned the alleged sex abuse occurred over an eight year period.
Based on interviews and evidence collected, detectives obtained a search warrant signed by a Tenth Judicial District Court Judge to search the residence of Kenny James Len Choate in the 100 block of Strange Road, Readhimer.
Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force Agents responded to assist.
During a search of the residence, detectives seized several firearms, suspected methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and electronic devices.
Detectives also discovered two malnourished dogs tied on the exterior of the residence that were seized by NPSO Animal Services Division.
Kenny James Len Choate, 37, was placed under arrest, transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with Molestation of a Juvenile, Aggravated Crime Against Nature, Possession of CDS Schedule II Methamphetamine-2nd or Subsequent Offense, Possession of Firearms by a Person Convicted of a Felony and Cruelty to Animals.
A Tenth Judicial District Court Judge has set bond over $1 million.
Choate’s wife, Crystal Michelle Choate, 36, was issued a citation for Cruelty to Animals and released pending a court appearance.
Sheriff Wright wishes to commend the mother of the victim, all deputies that were involved in the investigation along with the Orange Texas Police Department, and Rapides Children’s Advocacy Center for their assistance.
To any victim of a sex offense, don’t be afraid to talk to someone.