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Second relative accuses ex-sheriff Strain of sexual abuse

The second relative to accuse Strain claims the abuse happened frequently and over the course of years, starting when he was just 10.

COVINGTON, La. — Another relative accused former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain of sexual abuse from the witness stand Wednesday.

The second relative to accuse Strain claims the abuse happened frequently and over the course of years, from when he was just 10-years-old until he was around 21. The effects of that alleged abuse left scars on him that would cause problems for him and his family as they grew older, according to his testimony.

The relative who took the stand Wednesday said the abuse started when Strain was teaching him how to ride a four-wheeler. He claims Strain would move his hand up his thigh, into his shorts and hold him uncomfortably close while riding behind him. He said Strain would take him on hunting trips, insisting they hunt together alone. On those trips, he said Strain would watch him urinate, grope his penis and comment on how his pubic hair was coming in.

That abuse allegedly continued into his early teens, when he said Strain would show the young teen pornography in his computer room and tell him to masturbate in front of him.

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When prosecutors asked why he never told anyone about the abuse, the accuser said he was too ashamed.

“You got your own uncle touching you and your penis gets hard. Does that make you weird? Or gay?” he said.

His testimony was followed by his wife and mother, who testified that he’d told them about the abuse before the investigation into Strain’s sex crimes began.

According to the accuser and his wife, Strain’s abuse is why they never had children.

“I was always scared if I had a kid I wouldn’t be able to protect them from him,” the accuser said through tears.

His mother described her son’s angry outbursts where he’d demand that she keep the abuse secret or he’d never talk to her again. As she struggled to keep his secret, she said she began abusing pills, eventually losing her job because of it.

“I was a bad mother and I had to reap the repercussions for what someone else did to my son,” she said.

This is one of the accuser's defense attorney Billy Gibbens called “manipulated” in his opening statement. During cross-examination, Gibbens presented a recorded phone call where the accuser tells his mother that he feels like he’s being “blackmailed” by the FBI into testifying.

He said the FBI calling him and being in near-constant contact terrified him and he was afraid they’d try to dig something upon him but told Gibbens that they never actually threatened him.

Much like the other relative to accuse Strain on molesting him, he said that he didn’t want anyone to know what had happened and just wanted the whole ordeal to stop.

The accuser was calm in comparison to the other three to take the witness stand so far, but shouted at Strain directly once during his testimony, saying that Strain needs to “pay for what he did.”

“He shouldn’t have done what he did to me,” he said. “He has to answer for what he did.”

Strain’s wife, Lisa Strain, testified earlier in the day.

Prosecutors had Lisa Strain confirm that Jack Strain had access to some of his alleged victims on a timeline consistent with their accusations, but she said she either didn’t know or couldn’t confirm many other key details in the state’s case against her husband.

When asked about confronting her husband after learning about the allegations, Lisa said Jack told her he couldn’t imagine why the relative would accuse him. “I never did anything to hurt that boy,” she remembered him saying.

When asked directly if she’d seen Jack Strain do anything inappropriate with either of the family members accusing him of sexual abuse, she said “never.” 

Strain faces four counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated incest, one count of sexual battery and one count of indecent behavior with a juvenile. He has plead not guilty to all charges.

The trial will resume Thursday, Nov. 4, at 9 a.m.