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01/14/2014

Washington Parish Man Charged With Four Rapes

The Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested Heath G. Hartzog, 29, Franklinton, and charged him with four forcible rapes.  He is being held in the Washington Parish Jail with bond set at $150,000.  Forcible Rape is a crime for which there is no time limitation for prosecution and is punishable by imprisonment at hard labor for not less than five nor more than forty years for each rape conviction.

 According to Sheriff Randy Seal, the four rapes of two parish women occurred over a period of approximately five years.  Each forcible rape was the result of a domestic situation in which the women were either handcuffed or physically forced to submit to the rapes.

 Initial contact with one of the victims began late in 2013 when the woman met with investigators and to speak with them in regards to domestic violence related issues pertaining to her ex-boyfriend, Heath Hartzog.  Information obtained during the interviews disclosed two rapes of the woman and led to another woman who also had been raped twice.

 WPSO investigators thoroughly investigated the statements and circumstances provided by the two women and determined that four forcible rapes had occurred.   Warrants then were obtained for the arrest of Hartzog who was out of state at the time.  Hartzog was arrested on January 11 when he returned to Washington Parish.

 Sheriff Seal commented, “The two victims did the right thing by coming forward.  There is no time limit on the prosecution of forcible rape and I am pleased that our investigators were able to piece together the elements of these crimes and obtain warrants for his arrest.  I encourage any victim to come forward at any time so that we can investigate crimes committed against them.  No victim should ever be ashamed to tell what happened to them and our Victims’ Services Officer is always available to work with any victim.”

 Specific details of the crimes and the names of both victims are being withheld to protect their identity.

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