Louisiana Man to Be Chemically Castrated After Raping Minor

A prisoner convicted of child rape will be chemically castrated before his release back into society.

Ryan Clark, 34, is serving a 35-year term behind bars in Louisiana after admitting to a slew of felony charges, including the second-degree rape of a juvenile, as well as the molestation of a juvenile under 13 and sexual battery. He pleaded guilty on March 1 and was sentenced on Tuesday.

Judge Brian Ables ruled that Clark must also register as a sex offender for life, never contact his victims, forfeit all parental rights, and submit to chemical castration upon his release.

Chemical castration involves regular injections of medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), a drug that suppresses a man's libido by reducing testosterone levels. The treatment will begin at least one week before his release from prison.

Booking Photo of Ryan Clark
Ryan Clark, 34, who is serving a 35-year term behind bars in Louisiana after admitting to a slew of felony charges, including the second-degree rape of a juvenile, as well as the molestation of a juvenile under 13 and sexual battery, will be chemically castrated. Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office

Tangipahoa Parish District Attorney Scott Perrilloux released a statement confirming that Clark's guilty plea came just one day after a jury had been selected for his trial. He also revealed how Clark was caught, saying: "On July 16 of 2020, the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office was notified of indecent behavior between Clark and a juvenile by a person the victim had confided in. The person also explained this behavior had taken place for more than a year. The juvenile was then interviewed at the Children's Advocacy Center in Hammond and was able to detail the incidents. A possible second victim was also discovered.

"Clark also has a prior conviction of Misdemeanor Carnal Knowledge of a Juvenile... He was sentenced to 128 days in the parish jail for that charge in 2015."

Newsweek has reached out to Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office for further information and comment.

Clark's pattern of offending will see officials attempt to modify his criminal behavior with controlled drugs before his release, which won't be for decades.

MPA is also used by women as a form of birth control or can be combined with other drugs as part of treatment for menopause symptoms. The drug must be given regularly for it to remain effective. Women taking it as birth control typically have an injection every 3 months.

As far back as 1990, the drug had been touted as a possible form of "treatment of the sexual offender" in an article published by the American Journal of Criminal Law and posted on the U.S. Department of Justice website. The report notes: "The class of sexual offenders known as paraphiliacs [sexual deviants] can be treated with an antiandrogenic drug called Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) which chemically castrates the offender.

"The paraphiliac offender undergoing this treatment is no longer motivated to commit sex offenses and is more amenable to psychotherapy that can enable him to reintegrate into the community... MPA treatment will minimize the offender's commitment as a sexual psychopath and allow him to continue his rehabilitation. Treatment with MPA could also be considered an acceptable condition for probation." However, the report noted that there is a "lack of information on MPA's long-term effect."

Use of the drug as a form of male castration was legalized in Louisiana in 2008 when then-Governor Bobby Jindal approved the use of drug treatments on criminals guilty of certain felonies. The crimes included molestation of a juvenile, aggravated rape, forcible rape, second-degree sexual battery, aggravated incest and aggravated crime against nature.

Louisiana is not the only state that allows chemical castration. Alabama passed a bill on chemical castration of sex offenders who target children in 2019, a year after Oklahoma legislators made a bid to do the same. California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin also have some form of chemical castration laws.

The practice is controversial and has sparked public debate nationwide. A study in the Journal of Korean Medical Science noted that cases of involuntary castration might constitute human rights violations if they're perceived as punishments as opposed to treatments. It costs the state more than $4,650 per person, per year, to maintain the regimen, the report added.