New Orleans Police Officers Charged With Rape, Child Porn Still On Force

The New Orleans Police Department may not be living up to the whole “to protect and serve” mantra that its citizens expect after startling revelations that two officers are still on the force in spite of having been charged with child pornography and child rape.

The officers — Bradley Wax, 54, and Michael Thomassie, age not given — were arrested after allegations were made of possessing pornographic images depicting children (Wax) and aggravated rape of a victim less than 10-years-old (Thomassie).

Wax’s alleged crimes, if punished to the fullest extent of the law, would qualify him for a 500-year sentence.

Actually, according to a 2014 report from WAFB, Wax was charged with 38 separate counts of child pornography and each count carries with it a sentence of 20 years, for an exact total of 760 years.

Thomassie faces the most severe sex crime in state law.

According to a report from WDSU’s investigative team, the two men were suspended but are now back on active duty and getting a taxpayer-funded paycheck.

While the New Orleans Police Department maintains that the two men are on light duties, they are still allowed to carry their weapons.

The “emergency suspension” that officers are placed on following charges of this nature is limited to just 120 days, and if you look at the case of Ananie Mitchell, there’s not even a guarantee they’ll serve the whole time.

Mitchell is an officer that works on the city’s gang task force, and he was back in action after just 50 days following his alleged solicitation of a prostitute.

How could something like this happen in the 21st century, you may be asking? Four words: “innocent until proven guilty.”

Since Wax and Thomassie have served their suspensions and their trials are not scheduled until this summer, the NOPD doesn’t have any other choice but to go on rewarding the men with a paycheck and all the authority they had prior to the allegations.

Dr. John Penny, criminologist at Southern University at New Orleans, found it “incredibly hard to imagine anyone in that capacity would be back working and being paid for it at taxpayer expense.”

“It sends a very dangerous message to the citizens of this community,” he added.

Allegations of sex crimes among active duty police officers are nothing new. Take this story about a former school resource officer who used his position to rape 22 boys instead.

Do you think the New Orleans Police Department is well within its right to fire these men regardless of what happens at trial? Sound off in the comments section.

[Image via Jorg Hackemann / Shutterstock]