According to a lawsuit filed in June 2015 by Jennifer Stampfel, after she visited Villalobos Rescue Center (VRC), the rescue on Animal Planet’s “Pit Bulls and Parolees,” Toney Converse, a parolee featured on the reality show, “drugged her, raped her twice, stole her virginity, transmitted an STD to her, impregnated (her) and threatened to kill her,” the New Orleans Advocate reported.
Stampfel, a seminary student from Pittsburgh, Pa., wanted her name to be made public to “bring awareness to the situation,” her attorney, Charles Marshall III, told news sources at the time.
Stampfel didn’t only sue Converse. She also sued VRC, its owner Tia Torres, Tahyo Tavern (a bar owned by Torres) and 44 Blue, the production company for “Pit Bulls and Parolees,” all for failing to supervise Converse.
“The true and innocent victims here are the dogs of Villalobos Rescue Center,” Torres said in a statement last year. “What did they ever do to her that warrants taking away the donations used to feed them, house them, treat them for deadly heartworm disease and ultimately get them to a new home? What kind of person wants to be responsible for causing irreparable damage to hundreds…no, thousands of homeless dogs?”
To prepare financially for the lawsuit, VRC closed two satellite locations and consolidated the dogs on a donated property in rural Louisiana. The past season of “Pit Bulls and Parolees” didn’t mention the lawsuits but showed Torres and her family, along with volunteers, getting the new property ready for the dogs.
One year later, the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office has decided not to prosecute Converse.
“Our office has concluded that based on the facts presented, the witnesses interviewed and the circumstances described in the report, the matter does not merit prosecution,” wrote First Assistant District Attorney Graymond Martin in a letter to New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison, the Times-Picayune reports.
The civil suit, however, is still pending.
Stampfel’s ‘Disgusting’ Allegations
These are the pretty far-fetched facts of the case, according to Stampfel’s lawsuit.
Stampfel said she first met Converse in April 2014, when she was visiting New Orleans and stopped by VRC. She returned to the city two months later to attend the Summer Hebrew Institute at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
While she and Converse were at Tahyo Tavern, a bar owned by Torres, Stampfel says Converse drugged her soda and later raped her at the house where he was living. She did not report the rape until two weeks later, after finding out she was pregnant.
Stampfel then signed up for VRC’s Bully Boot Camp program for the purpose of confronting Converse about the rape and telling Torres, according to the lawsuit. In August 2014, while confronting Converse at the same house where the rape had allegedly occurred, Stampfel said he again sexually assaulted her.
I don’t understand why Stampfel would return to VRC and Converse — and why she would sue VRC, which is only punishing the dogs.
“I have been raped and NEVER did I go back for it to happen again!!!” wrote a commenter on my June 2015 story about the lawsuits. “I don’t know this girl but something just don’t sound right. Just not believable.”
Converse’s attorneys called Stampfel’s allegations disgusting and defamatory. Converse planned to countersue for defamation.
“Everything about our relationship was consensual from the day she came down to the day she left, to my knowledge,” Converse told WDSU.
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