When the Senate passed “Violence Aganst Women Act,” Feb. 12, one of the most vocal supporters was the senior senator from Louisiana.
“This legislation will save lives-I hope the House of Representatives will follow the Senate’s lead and quickly pass this important bill,” said Sen. Mary L. Landrieu (D.-La.), whose circle includes an aide accused of rape, a cousin accused of agravated assault against of woman and an inmate¬†who killed his wife with a knife.
“The Violence Against Women Act is particularly important for Louisiana as our state consistently ranks among the top five for women killed as a result of domestic violence,” she said.
In March 1997, a man Landrieu in 1996 championed for early release from jail was arrested for aggravated assault with a knife against his live-in girlfriend.
East Carroll Parish Deputy Chief Sheriff told the Times-Picayune newspaper that Abe Williams was arrested after a complaint from the girlfriend. ‚??She said he ran her through the house with a knife.‚?Ě
Landrieu, whose married name is Snellings, was the Louisiana state treasurer when she wrote a letter to the then-governor Edwin W. Edwards asking him to release Williams, who had already served nine years for stabbing his wife to death in a drunken argument.
The senator uses her maiden name professionally because of her family’s political legacy in Louisiana. Her¬†brother Mitchell J.¬†Landrieu, is the popular mayor of New Orleans¬†and her father Maurice E. “Moon” Landrieu was city councilor in the city for four years, before his eight years as mayor in the 1970s.
Another political member of the family,¬†the senator‚??s cousin, Gary C. Landrieu was arrested Nov. 12 on charges that he grabbed a woman during an argument, and then after she broke free from his grasp, he grabbed her by her ponytail and dragged her several feet.
The incident is reported to have occurred less than one week after he lost the election for Louisiana‚??s 2nd Congressional District.
According to The Washington Post, in September, one of Landrieu’s aides, Donny Ray Williams, was accused of sexual assault by woman he invited to his apartment to discuss Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. After a drink she told police she woke up with her pants off and “burning sensation” that suggested she had been raped.