Former St. Tammany sheriff booked on rape, incest accusations

Faces life in prison if convicted

Chris Miller
June 11, 2019 - 1:22 pm
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Former St. Tammany Sheriff Jack Strain was arrested and booked today on charges of rape and incest.

Allegations against Strain of sex crimes first surfaced late last year. The claims arose amid a federal probe of corruption in a work-release program. The sex crime claims have been overseen by District Attorney Warren Montgomery's office.

"In the fall of 2017, the Louisiana State Police, the FBI, and the IRS presented me with evidence that former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff had engaged in sex crimes," said Montgomery. "In the following months, we conducted a joint investigation, brought in the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and used a grand jury to confirm and corroborate the allegations."

Montgomery said a grand jury issued an indictment today. 

"If found guilty of the charges, Mr. Strain will be sentenced to a mandatory term of life in prison," said Montgomery.

Strain is being held on a $400,000 bond.

Current St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith, who defeated Jack Strain in the 2015 election, released this statement:

"Since first taking office, I have been actively involved in seeking justice for the atrocities alleged by victims on this parish’s former sheriff.  The information I learned throughout the investigation was deeply disturbing especially because of the severity of the alleged crimes.  Not only did we assist in the criminal investigation of the former sheriff, but I was also duty-bound to determine if any of the sheriff’s associates or colleagues were complicit or aware of any of the information that we learned upon investigating.  The revelations led me to make several changes in the upper ranks of the Sheriff’s Office.  There is no room for a good ole’ boys’ network in law enforcement, especially one that may be willing to put friendship over law.  The actions alleged against the former sheriff are disgraceful and shocking.  Today’s indictment of the former sheriff should illustrate St. Tammany’s disdain for corruption or criminal actions of all kinds.  I would like to commend the State Police and District Attorney Warren Montgomery’s office for their thorough investigation.  In the coming days, I am sure more facts will come to light to further explain Jack Strain’s behavior and the depth of the corruption within Jack Strain’s administration.  I can assure the citizens of this Parish that not only have we rebuilt this agency as a no-nonsense law enforcement division that takes its role in our community seriously, but today’s news only further motivates us to continue reinforcing our mission to protect and serve with the highest integrity."

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