Former Louisiana Sheriff Is Hit With Rape, Incest Charges for Alleged Offenses Dating Back to 1975

June 13, 2019

Mugshot of Jack Strain [St. Tammany Parish Jail]

Mugshot of Jack Strain [St. Tammany Parish Jail]

By: Catherine Townsend

A former Louisiana sheriff has been arrested and hit with a string of rape and incest charges for alleged conduct dating back to 1975, police say.

Former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain, 56, was indicted Tuesday by a grand jury on two counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated incest, sexual battery and indecent behavior with a juvenile in alleged sex crimes involving four victims. Some of the alleged crimes, which authorities say occurred between 1975 and 2004 and involved four victims, took place while Strain was sheriff, St. Tammany Paris District Attorney Warren Montgomery announced at a news conference. Because the alleged offenses date back to a period from 1975 to 1981 Strain could have been as young as 12 when the first offense allegedly occurred, according to the indictment.

Strain served as sheriff in the parish for 20 years before he was defeated in a 2015 election.

Louisiana State Police, FBI and IRS officials conducted an 18-month investigation before announcing charges, according to The New York Post. The New York Post reportedly reached out to Strain’s attorney, Billy Gibbens, but so far Gibbens has offered no comment.

One of Strain’s alleged victims said the former sheriff began molesting him when he was 6-years-old. “He started off molesting me, and it got to the point of raping me,” Mark Finn told KALB.

Finn added “I’ve been waiting for this to happen, you know? I mean, while he was the sheriff the whole time, he controlled me and my family. I just didn’t think anyone was going to believe me.”

Strain was taken into custody and held at St. Tammany Parish Jail, according to NOLA.com.

According to reports, his bond has been set at $400,000 and he is scheduled to be arraigned on July 3.


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