Sex offender arrested in Vidalia for attempted rape, sexual battery of child

Published 2:18 pm Friday, October 6, 2023

VIDALIA, La. – A convicted sex offender was charged this week with attempted rape, sexual battery of a child.

According to a statement from Concordia Parish Sheriff David Hedrick, the department’s Cyber Crime Unit began an investigation Tuesday into the sexual abuse of a juvenile at a Vidalia residence.

“It was learned that an adult subject had touched the child numerous times in a sexual manner, then proceeded to attempt sexual intercourse with them,” Hedrick said in a statement.

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Officers searched the residence that same day and took Joe Taunton, 44, of 2069 Elanor St. into custody.

“It was also discovered that the suspect was a non-compliant convicted sex offender, having been convicted in 2011 on federal sex offense charges,” Hedrick said.

Taunton was charged with sexual battery of a juvenile, two counts; attempted second degree rape; failure to register as a sex offender, three counts; and convicted felon in possession of firearms, three counts.

The matter remains under investigation.