MOBILE, AL (WALA)- A new development in the case of a special needs woman who was allegedly raped two years ago during Mardi Gras. A man has now been indicted for the crime.
Stephen Hickman, the victim's father, is speaking with FOX10 News for the first time.
Hickman said, "It's a huge thing for our family. It's a huge thing for my daughter. This is just the first step in a long track of getting justice."
Cecil Lavon Jackson has been indicted for the crime.
"Anybody that knew my daughter before the incident would tell you that she's just a bundle of joy. She was always happy, always excited, always positive and just loved life. The girl that this has left is just not even recognizable to the one she was before," said Hickman.
Hickman's daughter was 25 at the time, with the mental capacity of a toddler. While Hickman assumed she was sleeping inside her Mobile group home called "Agape House", Mobile Police records said she was, instead, found roaming around Bienville Square, naked the morning after Mardi Gras.
"I was devastated took me quite a while to process what had happened and what was she even doing in downtown," Hickman said.
The Mobile County District Attorney's Office said, Jackson's DNA from an October assault charge also linked him to the alleged rape of Hickman's daughter. He's now charged with rape first and sodomy first.
A huge step toward for the victim and her family, but Hickman's attorney, Blake Barnes, said the fight is not over.
Barnes said, "We just wanna make sure it's clear that she should have never been out here in downtown mobile lost in by herself in the first place."
A civil lawsuit claims defendants took the victim from her group home and placed her in a hotel so they could celebrate Mardi Gras. The lawsuit said it's their fault she was able to escape the hotel and roam freely.
Jackson is awaiting trial.