David Coutee arrested for first-degree rape
David Coutee arrested for first-degree rape

Victim of heinous rape: ‘If he gets out again, he will kill the next person’

BATON ROUGE — “I’m lucky to be alive.” Those are the first words the survivor of a brutal beating and repeated rape uttered to UWK.

It’s a night the woman will likely never forget, but now, she is speaking up hoping another woman never falls victim, especially since prior to her case, he was arrested for rape in Livingston Parish three years ago.

David Coutee, 38, of Walker in Livingston Parish, was arrested on June 25 in Livingston Parish and transported to East Baton Rouge Parish to face multiple charges including first-degree rape for an incident on June 11, 2024.

He was denied bond for the first-degree rape charge and given a $250,000 bond for all the other charges.

UWK dug through Coutee’s past to find this is not the first time he’s been arrested for rape. There’s also the question of why was he out of prison when the most recent alleged assault took place.

A deep dive into his past sheds light on how Coutee was out.

David Coutee arrested for first-degree rape
David Coutee arrested for first-degree rape

UWK found numerous arrests dating back to 2009 with the vast majority of the crimes happening in Livingston Parish, but some were in Tangipahoa Parish and New Roads. The various charges include arrests for simple damage to property, simple assault, simple burglary, simple battery, resisting an officer and multiple traffic violations. However, there were two previous arrests where Coutee pleaded “no contest.” Both were for a domestic abuse battery strangulation, one in 2018 and another in connection to a 2021 incident.

2018: Domestic abuse battery strangulation charge

On Sept. 24, 2018, Livingston Parish Sheriff’s deputies responded to Coutee’s home in Walker for a domestic call.

A woman, whose name UWK is not releasing, told deputies that her phone went off and Coutee “threw it in the driveway” because he got angry thinking it was another guy. She noted to deputies Coutee had been drinking. That’s when she told deputies he “started choking her and dragged her to a barn” behind the home, according to a police report.

She was able to run away, but as she was leaving out in her car, Coutee “got on the hood of the vehicle and broke her driver window.” She told deputies he climbed into the car, nearly forcing her to wreck the car. She said she tried to run away but that Coutee “tackled her and began choking her until she lost consciousness.” When she woke up, according to the report, she said he was still attacking her but she was able to run free.

He was arrested and charged with one count of domestic abuse battery strangulation.

On March 25, 2019, Coutee pleaded no contest to the charge and was sentenced to six months but given credit for time served.

2021: Rape charge against David Coutee

Oct. 6, 2021, Livingston deputies responded to a home in Walker for a domestic violence call. There, deputies learned he hit the victim in the face and strangled her. Officials say he then refused to let her out of the bedroom if she did not perform oral sex. She complied until she vomited, per documents. The report goes on to say that he then forcibly assaulted the victim until she could escape. He fled before deputies arrived.

The victim also told officials, according to the report, that she was scared for her life when he became so aggressive and threatened to choke her with a chain.

He was arrested and charged with second-degree rape and battery of a dating partner via strangulation.

Nearly five months later, March 10, 2022, Coutee was able to make bond thanks to a reduced amount of $15,500.

A few months later, Coutee allegedly beat a family member on July 16, 2022. He was arrested for simple battery and resisting an officer, while out on bond for pending rape and battery charges. His bond was revoked and Coutee was to remain behind bars until his rape case was settled.

April 10, 2023, Coutee entered a plea on the rape case. He would plea no contest to second degree battery and strangulation battery of a dating partner. He was sentenced to eight years with five years suspended. He was given credit for time already served and the sentence would run consecutive to the three-year sentence for the charge of strangulation battery of a dating partner.

Due to credit for time served and “good time” per Louisiana Act 280, Coutee was released from Dept. of Corrections custody on March 28, 2024 and paroled for the remainder of his sentence, which would have run through March 26, 2025. Per Louisiana law, battery of a dating partner via strangulation is considered a violent crime, but given this was his first violent crime conviction, he was eligible for good time. In his case, he was required to serve 75% of his three-year sentence. That allowed the March 28, 2024 release. After his parole ended in 2025, he still had five years of probation. Any violations of his probation would land him behind bars.

The most recent, heinous first-degree rape case allegedly happened since his release on June 11, 2024. Because he lives in Livingston Parish, the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested Coutee on June 25 as a fugitive for Baton Rouge. Since then, he has been transported to the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison where he’s facing a list of charges:

  • 1 count of first-degree rape
  • 1 count of aggravated second-degree battery
  • 1 count of false imprisonment; offender armed with dangerous weapon
  • 1 count of aggravated criminal damage to property
  • 1 count of aggravated assault

Given his alleged crime while on parole for the previous charges, Livingston Parish prosecutors are now filing a probation revocation, which would require Coutee to go back behind bars to finish the remainder of his full eight-year sentence for the 2021 charges.

“I do not want another woman to go through what I went through”

It was roughly 11:30 p.m. on June 11, 2024 when a 13-hour night of torture ended with a victim hospitalized after she says she was raped, beaten and held against her will.

“I’m lucky to be alive,” the survivor told UWK. Names of victims in sex crimes are not released. Despite the physical and mental anguish of the night, she chose to speak up saying, “He needs to be put away because if he gets out, he will do it again.”

According to the police report, Coutee went to the survivor’s Baton Rouge home to help move a few items. When there, he got suspicious that there was another man in the home. That’s when the torturous night started from him allegedly beating her with a hammer and flashlight till she lost consciousness, dragging her into the attic by her hair, forcing her to perform oral sex until she threw up and then turning around and forcing her to lick him before he’s accused of raping her from behind. That was just round one. Round two of David Coutee allegedly forcing oral sex and another rape happened later in the night.

She asked for the graphic details to be included in the report to paint the true picture of who she says Coutee became in an instant.

READ FULL REPORT OF THE 13-HOUR TORTURE

“If he gets out again, he will probably do it again because he’s very charming. He seems very normal. He did not come off as a rapist or a guy who was abusive towards women. He came off very loving and very sweet. And then he flipped a switch so if he gets out again, he will kill the next person. He threatened to kill me so what’s that tell you?”

She added she fully believes he was capable of killing her that night.

“I felt like half the night, after he beat me, after the 10th time of him hitting me in the head, I was pretty sure 1) I had a concussion and 2) I even felt like I was going to die because he told me he was not leaving till Friday morning.”

The survivor told UWK she had not known Coutee very long. In fact, this was only the fourth time she had hung out with him. Now, she’s praying no one ever has to go through the hell she says she was put through.

“I did not know his past. He told me he had problems in his past and that he’s been arrested before but he said it was for bar fights, nothing involving rape or sexual assault or anything like that. I do not want another woman to go through what I went through.”

Now that Coutee is in East Baton Rouge Parish, District Attorney Hillar Moore’s prosecutors will take over the case.

“The allegations in the arrest warrant are extremely heinous and chilling. What the survivor had to endure during her captivity was inhumane and despicable,” said DA Moore. “We will give this case the attention that it deserves and will work for justice for this survivor. She needs our entire communities’ support.”

One of the charges David Coutee is facing is first-degree rape. If convicted, that charge carries a mandatory life in prison without the benefit of parole or probation.

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