A former Louisiana sheriff could face life in prison after being convicted of sexual abuse, the Associated Press reported.
Jack Strain, who served as St. Tammany Parish sheriff for two decades, was charged with eight counts of sex crimes in 2019 against juvenile boys. He was found guilty on November 8 after the jury heard from five victims, whom Strain abused when they were children. Strain did not testify.
“You hurt me in so many ways,” one accuser said. “You are a monster and a predator.”
Another victim called Strain a coward. According to AP, one of the victim’s counselors testified that he had developed PTSD and night terrors, while another victim said the abuse led to a substance abuse problem.
Strain is also facing federal charges from an inmate work-release contract, which is tied to his sex crimes case. A co-defendant who pleaded guilty in that case accused Strain of abusing him as a child before going on to work for the former sheriff in adulthood, and being pressured into assisting him with the contract. Strain pleaded not guilty to the federal charges.
Local news outlet NOLA said that Strain showed no emotion throughout the trial, only showing a little after the verdict was reached. After embracing his wife and children, he was escorted from the courtroom.
“The evidence was compelling, overwhelming and convincing,” North Shore District Attorney Warren Montgomery said.
Strain was charged with four counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated incest, and one count each of sexual battery and indecent behavior with a juvenile. He will be sentenced on January 18.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.
Aggravated rape carries a mandatory life sentence. The allegations included crimes that took place before and during his time as sheriff.
Strain, 58, served as St. Tammany sheriff for two decades, losing a bid for a sixth term in 2015.
One of Strain’s victims said that, as an adult, he had gone to work for Strain at the sheriff’s office when he was deeply in debt.
The jury heard testimony from five men who said Strain shattered their childhoods with acts that still haunt them.
Another accuser was a family member of Strain who said he was molested while he was a sophomore in high school.
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