Vernon Parish – Investigators from the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations Special Victims Unit/Alexandria Field Office arrested Ernest Kickel Jr. (W/M 66 yrs) of Leesville, LA, on Monday, August 18, 2014 for attempted aggravated rape and for trafficking of children for sexual purposes.
Earlier in the day, LSP’s Special Victims Unit (LSPSVU) received information from the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office Task Force (VPSOTF) in reference to Kickel Jr. They advised that they had received information, through investigative procedures, that Kickel Jr. was attempting to buy a 10 year old child for sexual purposes. LSPSVU and VPSOTF immediately combined investigative efforts, thus gaining more information regarding these criminal acts.
Based on information gained, LSPSVU obtained a search warrant for Kickel Jr’s residence. After serving the search warrant, items were located in his residence corroborating Kickel Jr’s plan to have sex with a minor child.
“The Louisiana State Police is committed to investigating and arresting those who sexually exploit and victimize our children. These are atrocious crimes that threaten the most innocent of victims, our children,” said Colonel Mike Edmonson, State Police Superintendent. “We will take a firm stance against those that choose to engage in this type of hideous illegal activity. Our investigators will be proactive with investigative procedures and will deploy every resource available to intercept and arrest these types of criminals.”
“This is one of the most disturbing incidents that law enforcement is encountered with,” said Sheriff Sam Craft, Vernon Parish Sheriff. “The protection of our children will always be handled in a swift and decisive manner and with this type of behavior the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Department will always respond accordingly.”
Kickel Jr. was booked into the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Department Detention Center. Bond was set at 1.5 million dollars. The investigation remains ongoing.
The Louisiana State Police online reporting system is also available to the public through a convenient and secure reporting form that is submitted to the appropriate investigators. Citizens can access the form by visiting www.lsp.org and clicking the Suspicious Activity link.