Former reserve cop sentenced to prison

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By Alice Du Pont

     Lavander Barkley, 40, the former Gretna reserve police officer, found guilty of sexual battery by a law enforcement officer in April of this year, was sentenced Friday, July 22, to nine years in prison.
    It took a six-member jury a little more than two hours in April to return a guilty verdict after Barkley's emotional testimony that he knew he was wrong but that sex in the police station with a then 20-year-old woman, was consentual  not rape. The woman's testimony contradicted Barkley's. She said after he stopped her for running a stop sign and discovered that her license was suspended he told her to go to the Gretna Police Station. She was afraid not to go to the police station, as Barkley ordered, because he threatened to impound the vehicle, which belonged to her mother and take her to jail. He allowed her to leave once he had sex with her.
    He was arrested that night, Sept. 2, 2010 after the woman went to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital and reported the rape.