- Posted November 22, 2011 by
Probation officer forces non sex offender to register as sex offender, victim sues
The suit filed in the 26th Judicial District Court by 32-year-old Meiko Prevo, of Cullen, La., claims the agencies are liable for damages she sustained as a result of their negligence after her now-former probation officer David Phillips, an employee of the Minden-based Office of Probation and Parole advised her in 2008 to register as a sex offender or immediately be detained to serve five years in prison.
Legal records show Prevo was not a sex offender and had neither been arrested nor charged with any crime relating to a sexual offense with a minor.
The suit trails a 2010 letter by Probation and Parole Officer Mike Ware, informing the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office, who outlines and enforces sex offender registration requirements in the parish, that an investigation by the Probation and Parole Office into Prevo’s criminal history revealed that she had “NO” prior sex offense convictions, and therefore was not a sex offender by statute.
The suit stems from Prevo’s 2008 conviction of distribution of cocaine, which resulted in her being placed on five years probation. According to the suit, upon checking in with Probation and Parole, following sentencing, Phillips informed Prevo that she was a sex offender and would be required to register as such in connection to a 2000 charge of Crime Against Nature in East Baton Rouge.
However, Prevo was never convicted of Crime Against Nature. Instead pled guilty to an amended charge of Criminal Mischief.
The suit further claims that Phillips blatantly ignored information, from both Prevo and the attorney who worked the Criminal Mischief case in 2000.
“Officer Phillips didn’t inspect the record, investigate, or verify the accuracy of the charge,” the suit states. “Officer Phillips could have validated the claims of the plaintiff and her previous legal counsel by simply placing a call to the East Baton Rouge District Court or District Attorney’s Office. Officer Phillips did not take the necessary steps he should have taken in this instance.”
Prevo, who is being represented by Shreveport attorney Alex Washington, has requested a trial by jury.
As of this morning, Phillips’ name was still listed in the employee directory at the Minden District of Probation and Parole, which is governed by the State of Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections.
Calls placed to Washington’s office were not immediately returned.