A bizarre love triangle between an adulterous former cop, a woman, and her alleged rapist, 35-year-old cable TV installer, Ronnie A. Torregano began to unfold Tuesday in a New Orleans court. Orleans Parish prosecutor Jason Napoli told the jurors that NOPD completely botched the rape investigation and that “the only person who collected evidence was the victim.”
The police either failed to investigate this case through negligence or to protect former officer Darryl Coulon, the woman’s lover, whom she called instead of 911 to report being raped by Torregano.
On July 6th, 2013, a 32-year-old single mother was beaten, pinned to her bed and raped after an argument with the accused, her ex-boyfriend. The prosecutor says the woman received a Plan B pill in her mailbox the next day with a text from Torregano saying she should take it to prevent pregnancy. Now Torregano is standing trial for second-degree rape, aggravated burglary and stalking.
“She was abandoned and practically raped again by the New Orleans Police Department,” Napoli told jurors. “We will not be able to bring you any detective who collected evidence in this case.”
That is because Officer Corey Clark, the patrol officer who responded to the call, spent about 20 minutes at the scene and wrote up a report for simple battery because the woman, who works in the medical field, declined to go to a hospital for a rape kit exam, Napoli said. The prosecutor said Clark never notified a sex crimes detective or the district attorney’s office that a rape was alleged.
Clark is under suspicion of negligence motivated by desire to protect Darryl Coulon, who was on the force from 1992-2001 and had an affair with the victim in 2010. He apparently maintained a friendship with her without the knowledge of his wife and needed to hide his involvement when the woman reported the rape to him instead of directly to the NOPD.
Coulon, the first witness at the trial, testified that he rushed to the woman’s house and called 911 on her behalf to report a battery. Upon arrival, he said he called 911 a second time to upgrade the call to a rape, giving a false name. And when police arrived, he quietly asked to leave his presence out of any reports.
“I was a public figure with the police department,” Coulon testified Tuesday. “I’m married. I don’t want to mess my family up. … I didn’t say my real name for obvious reasons. I didn’t want to be involved.”
Without evidence, it will be difficult to prosecute Torregano in what is believed will be a two-day trial.