By Bonnie Culverhouse
A Sarepta man, convicted on two charges of rape, may never see freedom again.
Michael Craig, 26th Judicial Court Judge, today (Monday, August 9), sentenced Michael Duck, 54, to life in prison without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence for the first degree rape of a child under 13. He also gave Duck a consecutive sentence of 38 years hard labor for one count of second degree rape.
Webster Parish Assistant District Attorney Hugo Holland pointed out that Duck must be convicted to life for the first degree rape, however, he added it would be up to the judge to determine sentencing for the other rape conviction.
Defense attorney Eric Johnson asked the judge to consider making the sentences concurrent.
“The court required a pre-sentence investigation, and saw in 2010 you were found guilty of possession of Sch. II, making you a second and third felony offender,” Judge Craig told Duck. “You didn’t testify, and you were given the opportunity to respond in pre-sentencing and declined.”
Judge Craig went on to point out that by the sworn testimonies, the offenses were separate and subsequent, multiple times over a period of time with both victims.
“Based on your actions, the damage you did to these two girls for the rest of their lives, and the damage you did to other girls that you are not going to be held accountable, that is going to impact them,” the judge continued. “You impacted five or six young girls – and those are the ones we know about– for the rest of their lives.
“Not to mention their families,” he continued. “Because they are all related to you in some form or fashion. It will have a ripple effect in your family.”
Duck was arrested in 2016, following an extensive investigation by the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office when one of the minor victims contacted the WPSO and reported that her stepfather had been sexually assaulting her.
During the course of the investigation, multiple other family members revealed they were also sexually assaulted by Duck.
The jury heard testimony from Detective Teresa Rogers and Detective Heather Boucher, both experts in the fields of clinical psychology, DNA analysis and sexual assault examinations as well as from multiple other victims who came forward during the investigation.
Duck has 30 days to appeal his sentence.
Duck’s son, Michael Dragland, 35, was also sentenced today on two counts of second degree rape to which he pled guilty.
“I believe if you had gone to trial and been convicted, your sentence would’ve been much greater than it’s about to be,” Judge Craig told Dragland in court. “This sentence is being handed down pursuant to a plea agreement, and I’m going to honor that plea agreement.”
Dragland will serve 20 years at hard labor, two of those years to be served without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.
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