Analyst: Strain defense will likely target memory, credibility of alleged victims

Change of venue could be in play

Chris Miller
June 12, 2019 - 7:55 am

After 20 years as St. Tammany Parish's sheriff, Jack Strain today woke up in a cell in the St. Tammany Parish jail. 

Facing three counts of aggravated rape, and one each of incest, sexual battery, and indecent behavior with a juvenile, Strain is in serious legal trouble -- the rape charges carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

District Attorney Warren Montgomery said the investigation began in the fall of 2017, when he was presented with evidence that Strain had engaged in sex crimes. 

According to the indictment, the crimes happened over a period of years.

"Strain is accused of committing the crime of aggravated rape on one victim between June 1, 1979, and July 19, 1980, and another victim between January 1, 1975, and September 8, 1981," according to the D.A.'s office. 

"Strain also is accused of committing aggravated incest on a third victim and committing indecent behavior with the same victim, all between April 1, 1996, and July 1, 2002. In addition, Strain is accused of committing aggravated incest and sexual battery on a fourth victim on or about June 1, 2004."

After two decades as sheriff, and less than four years removed from the job, Stain is still a very public figure on the Northshore, says legal analyst Tim Meche.

"Clearly everybody will know about him, and these allegations," said Meche. "Nevertheless he has a lot of friends and supporters there still."

Meche says Strain's defense will likely key in on the age of the allegations -- some more than 40 years old -- and the credibility of the accusers.

The indictments allege four separate victims, two under the age of 12. Some of the crimes are alleged to have occurred while Strain was in office.

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