A 1997 driver’s license photo of Darrell Lacouture before he went on the run to avoid charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child. 

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public’s help in locating a suspect wanted for one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

The charges against 73-year-old Darrell Lacouture stem from an incident involving his grandaugther. In October 1997, Lacouture’s 10-year-old granddaughter made an “outcry” to her mother. She said her grandfather had “touched her” and pointed to her vaginal area. Lacouture was confronted with the allegations, but denied doing anything wrong.

However, Lacouture left the residence as the mother of the girl called 911. He was gone before authorities arrived.

Deputies arrived at the residence and spoke to the mother in reference to the offense. As a result, the girl was transported to a local hospital for treatment. She later went to the Garth House for an interview. During the interview the investigator said the child appeared to be “very traumatized.”

During the investigation it was determined several other female family members were also accusing Lacouture of sexually assaulting them as children too. But, as children they were too scared to report the incidents.

It was reported Lacouture had threatened the young girls “don’t tell or you will be in trouble.” He also told them if they reported the incidents to anyone he would kill them.

Lacouture agreed to be interviewed by investigators. But, he failed to show up at the designated time and location. A warrant was issued for his arrest for aggravated assault of a child.

Since then, investigators have been unable to locate Lacouture but have been actively searching for him.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the OCSO at 409-883-2612.