Jury selection begins in trial for former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain

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COVINGTON (WGNO)– The trial of former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain began today with jury selection.

Jack Strain is accused of sexually abusing multiple juveniles including Mark Finn, a Strain family friend who says the former Sheriff started abusing him when he was 6-years old.

Strain was indicted in 2019 on four counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated incest and two counts of indecent behavior of a juvenile and sexual battery.

He is represented by Billy Gibbons who is a former federal prosecutor before becoming a defense attorney.

Judge Bruce Simpson of Lafourche Parish will preside over the trial after all of the judges in St. Tammany Parish recused themselves from the case.

Today they asked potential jurors about whether they could be fair and impartial, asked questions about association with anyone who’s been sexually abused, and they asked potential jurors their thoughts on law enforcement.

Terry King with Concerned Citizens of St. Tammany Parish had this to say about the trial.

“What he did was heinous, if they are able to prove that. He was using resources of a Sheriff to control victims of sex crimes over the years. That type of law enforcement corruption is just unacceptable,” he said.

The trial is expected to last about two weeks.

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