ST. TAMMANY PARISH, La. — Current St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith said he is pleased that there is justice for the victims after a jury found former, long-time sheriff Jack Strain guilty of sex crime charges on Monday.
In a statement released Tuesday morning, Smith said that the verdict against Strain "proved that no one is above the law."
“From day one as Sheriff, I have worked with Federal and State partners, who were already investigating criminal acts of the prior Sheriff," Smith said. "That is why I committed myself and my administration to change so many things with your St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office – from uniforms and vehicles to the ethical and moral values represented throughout the agency."
Smith added that he is sympathizing with the victims and their families as well as the employees of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office.
"All of you are victims too of the former Sheriff’s wrongful and criminal acts. As Sheriff, I will continue to commit myself and my administration to work together so that we, as a community, can move past this," Smith said.
A St. Tammany Parish jury convicted their former sheriff on rape charges after weighing evidence that Strain raped and molested multiple people over the course of decades.
Over the two-week trial, state prosecutors portrayed Strain as a master manipulator and sexual predator, preying on young boys left in his care since he was a teenager.
Strain and his family remained stoic as he learned his fate: Guilty of four counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated incest, and one count each of sexual battery and indecent behavior with a juvenile. A mandatory life sentence awaits him at his Jan. 18 sentencing.
"I don't have a message for Jack Strain," said St. Tammany DA Warren Montgomery. "He faced his accusers. I think they had a message for him."