Accused rapist held mom, daughter captive during Hurricane Barry, Louisiana cops say

A Louisiana man faces rape charges after a mother and daughter reported that he held them captive over the weekend as Hurricane Barry struck the state, local authorities said.

In addition to first-degree rape, Morgan Ratley, a 52-year-old from Cut Off, Louisiana, is charged with sexual battery, domestic abuse and false imprisonment, Sheriff Craig Webre said in a news release on Tuesday.

After the mother and daughter escaped the home where they were being held, the woman went to a Sheriff’s Office station in South Lafourche on Sunday around 10 a.m. to report that Ratley had been holding them since 5 p.m. on July 12 and “that a rape occurred during that time,” authorities said.

An investigation revealed that the mother and daughter had been at the home when Ratley went up to the woman and tried to restrain her with duct tape, then took a phone away from the daughter when she tried to call authorities, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Ratley taped the woman to a chair to keep her there, the Sheriff’s Office said, and though he “occasionally released the woman from her restraints” he “would not allow her to leave.”

The mother and daughter escaped Sunday, deputies said.

Authorities got warrants for Ratley’s arrest, and he was booked at the Lafourche Parish Correctional Complex, where he’s being held on $135,000 bail, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Barry made landfall near Intracoastal City in Louisiana on Saturday morning and at one point its strength ticked up to become a Category 1 storm, CNN reported.

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.