A lengthy grand jury investigation into child rape allegations culminated in the arrest of ex-sheriff Jack Strain Tuesday. St. Tammany Parish’s former top lawman was charged with two counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated incest, sexual battery, and indecent behavior with a minor.
Strain’s bond was set at $400,000, and he is currently out on bail.
The charges stem from sex crimes against 4 different victims, two of whom were 12 or younger. Strain is accused of abusing the first victim, now a 49-year old career criminal named Mark Finn, between from June 1979 to June 1980. Finn was only six years old at the time of those allegations. Another victim was abused for a lengthy 6-year period, according to the federal indictment. Between April 1st, 1996 and July 1st, 2002, Strain is accused of committing aggravated incest and indecent exposure with the same victim. Another count, this time sexual battery, is alleged to have happened in summer of 2004.
“Mr. Strain deserves a speedy trial by an impartial jury, and I will make sure he is given a fair trial,” said St. Tammany District Attorney Warren Montgomery.
If Strain is convicted he’s likely to spend the rest of his life behind bars, which would be neither a surprise nor an injustice in the eyes of anyone.
Shockingly, there is yet another investigation, this one a federal probe, into Strain in progress. This investigation stems from an inmate work-release contract Strain awarded to a company called Workforce Solutions LLC in 2013. The contract was awarded to the children of two deputies: Clifford Keen and David Hanson Sr. Keen and Hanson admitted they had created the company in the names of their children so Strain could award no-bid contracts to the Slidell company. This deal netted over $1.2 million from July 2013 to January 2017, according to federal officials. The federal investigation ultimately led to the sexual abuse charges for which Strain was arrested this week.
Strain’s arrest marks the final chapter of a long, but regrettable reign of one of St. Tammany Parish’s last old-school political bosses.