Life Sentences in Sexual Abuse Case
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 20, 2009|
SACRAMENTO, CA—Acting United States Attorney Lawrence G. Brown announced today that United States District Judge William B. Shubb sentenced ALLEN HARROD, 61, of Sacramento, and MICHAEL LaBRECQUE, 50, of Fort Worth, Texas, today to life in prison. A federal jury returned a guilty verdict in February 2008 of six counts of the interstate travel of four minors for the purpose of engaging in unlawful sexual conduct, and one count each for the transfer of HARROD’s seven-year-old son to LaBRECQUE for the purpose of producing sexually explicit images of the boy.
Judge Shubb imposed the statutory maximum sentence of 15 years for each of the six travel counts, and ordered that they be run consecutively for a total of 1080 months (90 years). The life sentence imposed by the Judge for HARROD’s transfer, and LaBRECQUE’s assumption of custody of the Harrod boy for purposes of producing child pornography, was ordered to run concurrently with the 1080 months imposed in the other six counts.
This case was the product of an extensive investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, and the Folsom Police Department, which originated the case.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Laurel D. White, who prosecuted the case, in sentencing the defendants, Judge Shubb noted that the case represented one of the most serious cases he had adjudicated during this tenure as a Federal District Court Judge. For more than a decade, HARROD and LaBRECQUE and their wives, engaged in ritualistic sex acts with children from the two families as part of a religion started by HARROD and followed by LaBRECQUEs and his wife. HARROD’s self-proclaimed religion—a loosely-defined amalgam of doctrine derived from the Book of Mormon and the Bible—promoted the sexual abuse of children as a means of promoting each child’s sexual maturation from childhood to adulthood. Children of both HARROD and the LaBRECQUEs testified at trial about the sexual abuse inflicted by each defendant. A fourth defendant, HARROD’s common-law wife IRENE HUNT, had previously pleaded guilty in federal court pursuant to a plea agreement wherein she agreed to cooperate with the government and testify against the others. HUNT provided an insider’s view of the two men’s plan to transport LaBRECQUE’s daughters from Texas to Sacramento for the purpose of engaging in sex acts with HARROD.
The testimony and evidence introduced at trial also revealed that LaBRECQUE engaged in ongoing sexual activity with his daughters prior to each girl’s travel to Sacramento in order to prepare them for the sex acts each would engage in with HARROD. Evidence revealed that LaBRECQUE would begin to sexually train his daughters when they were about seven or eight years old. Evidence offered at trial, however, revealed one daughter was as young as four years old when the sex began.
The evidence also revealed that HARROD transferred custody of his then seven-year old son to the LaBRECQUE so that sexually explicit images could be taken of the boy. In July 1991, the boy traveled to Fort Worth, Texas with his mother, IRENE HUNT, and lived in the LaBRECQUE household where he was home-schooled and photographed engaged in sexually explicit conduct with LaBRECQUE’s wife, JULIETTE LaBRECQUE. The evidence also revealed that another purpose of transporting HARROD’s son to Texas was to train him in sexual activity for the purpose of some day assuming HARROD’s role as the patriarch of the two families. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the two counts involving JULIETTE LaBRECQUE, and charges against her were dismissed.