LEESBURG, Fla. - Testimony began Tuesday in the trial of a Leesburg police officer accused of forcing an arrested woman to perform a sex act on him, including testimony from the alleged victim.
The victim told the court in sometimes graphic detail how she says it happened.
"He was groping my breasts and breathing really hard and heavy like it was enjoyable," she said.
Officer Henri Bart Larue, 25, was arrested on sex battery charges in January 2013 after a three-month investigation into the alleged incident, which occurred in October 2012.
During a traffic stop, Larue pulled over a 23-year-old woman for a broken tail light and found she had active suspensions, so he placed her under arrest and started to take her to the Lake County Jail, according to authorities. On the way to the jail, he allegedly stopped at an alley behind a shopping center, removed her handcuffs and forced her to perform a sex act.
"He had this really creepy smile on his face like he had won the World Series and said, 'I can't believe you did it'...and laughs," the woman said.
Larue's attorney, Robert Whittel, said last year that he believes the alleged victim has an ulterior motive and added that she has had several run-ins with the law. He also questioned why the victim didn't tell corrections officers about the incident when she made it to the jail.
It's not known if Larue will take the stand.
Attorney Mark NeJame is representing the alleged victim.
"To this day, I am scared of the dark. I have nightmares," she said.
Testimony continued after lunch, with the woman saying, "He was smart. He knew what he was doing. He had this creepy grin on his face and said, 'I can't believe you did it.'"
Larue was employed with the department starting in March 2012 and was placed on paid administrative leave October 5, 2012, following the allegations. He is now on unpaid leave.
If convicted, Larue could face up to life in prison.
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