ABITA SPRINGS, La. — The town of Abita Springs is known for its crystal clear spring water, friendly atmosphere and quiet way of life. So, you can imagine the shock when people living there found out that one of their neighbors was arrested for decades of alleged rape and incest.
That neighbor is former Abita Spring police chief and ex-sheriff for St. Tammany Parish Jack Strain.
"I heard about it a long time ago but I didn't believe it until I heard he got arrested today," one man said.
"It's a shock. I can't believe that he did that," another woman said.
Abita Springs resident Darin Westscott said he used to coach one of Strain's children. He said he thought Strain was a "straight-up guy," and was shocked to hear the news.
Strain was charged with two counts of aggravated rape and aggravated incest, one count of indecent behavior with a juvenile and a count of sexual battery.
This comes after years of investigative reports by the Eyewitness News team detailing allegations of sexual abuse and corruption.
Story continues below video
Rick Franzo with Concerns Citizens of St. Tammany said his organization has complained about Strain for years, standing up for victims when no one believed them.
"How many times have we seen political figures who've had a pretty outside but when you open the book is dirty?" Franzo said.
Franzo said when an alleged victim came to his organization three years ago, he and members were called haters.
"People really need to start thinking about who we vote for, who we put in office and how long we keep them," Franzo said.
With more details to come as the case continues to unravel, the man once in charge of the jail called the inside of a cell home Tuesday.