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Former Louisiana sheriff indicted on incest, rape, sexual battery charges

Former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain faces life in prison if convicted of multiple counts of rape and incest handed down by a grand jury.

COVINGTON, La. (WGNO) – Former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain faces life in prison if convicted of multiple counts of rape and incest handed down by a grand jury this morning.

District Attorney Warren Montgomery said an investigation into potential sex crimes committed by Strain began in 2017.

The Louisiana State Police, FBI, IRS, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service were all involved in the investigation, according to Montgomery.

The investigation culminated on the morning on June 11 when a grand jury indicted Strain on two counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated incest, indecent behavior with a juvenile, and sexual battery.

The 56-year-old Strain, whose given name is Rodney Jack Strain, was arrested and booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail on a bond of $400,000.

Strain is accused of raping one victim between June 1979 and July 1980, and another victim between January 1975 and September 1978, according to Montgomery.

Between April 1996 and July 2002, Strain is also accused of committing aggravated incest and indecent behavior with a third victim.

Strain is also accused of committing aggravated incest and sexual battery on a fourth victim in June of 2004.

For the charges of aggravated rape, Strain faces a sentence of life in prison. The aggravated incest charges carry a sentence of between five and 20 years, while the indecent behavior with a juvenile charges carry a sentence of up to seven years, and the sexual battery charges come with a sentence of up to 10 years.

“Since first taking office, I have been actively involved in seeking justice for the atrocities alleged by victims on this parish’s former sheriff,” current St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith said. “The information I learned throughout the investigation was deeply disturbing especially because of the severity of the alleged crimes. Not only did we assist in the criminal investigation of the former sheriff, but I was also duty-bound to determine if any of the sheriff’s associates or colleagues were complicit or aware of any of the information that we learned upon investigating. The revelations led me to make several changes in the upper ranks of the Sheriff’s Office. There is no room for a good ole’ boys’ network in law enforcement, especially one that may be willing to put friendship over law. The actions alleged against the former sheriff are disgraceful and shocking. Today’s indictment of the former sheriff should illustrate St. Tammany’s disdain for corruption or criminal actions of all kinds. I would like to commend the State Police and District Attorney Warren Montgomery’s office for their thorough investigation. In the coming days, I am sure more facts will come to light to further explain Jack Strain’s behavior and the depth of the corruption within Jack Strain’s administration. I can assure the citizens of this Parish that not only have we rebuilt this agency as a no-nonsense law enforcement division that takes its role in our community seriously, but today’s news only further motivates us to continue reinforcing our mission to protect and serve with the highest integrity.”

By WGNO WEB DESK

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