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Former St. Tammany Sheriff Jack Strain gets 4 life sentences in rape, incest case

Jack Strain
Jack Strain(STPSO)
Published: Feb. 22, 2022 at 11:52 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 22, 2022 at 12:11 PM CST
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ST. TAMMANY PARISH, La. (WVUE) - Former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain was sentenced to serve the rest of his life in prison after being found guilty of rape and incest.

Strain was convicted in November on four counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated incest, one count of indecent behavior with a juvenile, and one count of sexual battery.

In an emotional morning at court, Strain was sentenced on Feb. 22 to four life sentences without parole on the aggravated rape charges, 15 years and a $15,000 fine on each of the aggravated incest charges, five years for indecent behavior with a juvenile, and five years for sexual battery.

A former sheriff of 20 years, Strain was in an orange prison jumpsuit and shackles as boyhood friend and rape victim Mark Finn unloaded for 30 minutes, calling him a predator, a monster, and a pervert.

Finn said he still has nightmares of saying “stop, stop, stop, you’re hurting me Jack Strain.” Finn says Strain destroyed his and his mother’s lives.

At one point, Finn looked directly at the former head of law enforcement in St. Tammany Parish and said “look at me, are you sorry? If you’re sorry, I’ll forgive you. If not, I hope you rot in hell.”

Strain said nothing.

Finn’s mother, Patricia, looked directly at the man accused of raping her son and testified as well about the destruction caused by Strain’s sex abuse.

Strain was given the opportunity to testify but he did not. His attorneys say they will appeal.

Following the multiple life sentences, she said she was relieved.

“I’m a momma. I should have known,” she told reporters outside of the courthouse. “But I swear to God I didn’t. Because I knew this man since he was 10 years old and I would have never thought.”

Prosecutors say Strain will likely spend the rest of his life in state prison, even though he’s also been convicted of federal charges related to a halfway house kickback scheme.

More: ‘Evidence was compelling’; D.A. says ‘guilty’ verdict is a message from Strain’s accusers

Five victims, some of them relatives, testified at trial last fall, sounding similar themes of looking up to Strain as an older brother or father figure and having their trust betrayed when he molested or raped them in tents, campers, and in his bedroom. The sexual abuse continued into adulthood in many cases.

The jury came in with a verdict after nearly five hours of deliberations at the end of a trial that lasted two full weeks.

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