COVINGTON, La. — On Tuesday, former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain was sitting in the same jail he once ran.
Strain was detained at his home in Abita Springs, making it appear he did not know he was going to be arrested Tuesday afternoon.
Escorted by two unmarked SUVs and a Louisiana State Police unit, the ex-lawman was brought into the St. Tammany Parish Jail around 1:30 p.m., wearing a collared shirt and khaki shorts.
He was being held on a $400,000 bond for six charges handed up from a Louisiana Grand Jury, including rape and incest.
Strain's indictment and arrest came after a years-long timeline of investigation into his business dealings while sheriff, involving a St. Tammany work release program, that eventually unearthed the allegations of sex crimes (see timeline below).
Strain's state sex crime charges
WWL-TV legal analyst Chick Foret said district attorney Warren Montgomery and the prosecution won't have to worry about the time limit on ex-sheriff Strain's charges, which span back more than four decades.
Those charges include two counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated incest, one count of indecent behavior with a juvenile and a count of sexual battery, after a grand jury indicted him on these charges.
According to the indictment, there are four alleged victims of the sex crimes, which spanned from 1975 to 2004. All four victims were under the age of 18 at the time of the alleged crimes. Two of the victims were under the age of 12.
According to Foret, there is no statute of limitations for aggravated rape charges. For the other charges, the district attorney has until 30 years from the victims' 18th birthday to prosecute. Given the dates of the charges, Foret said Montgomery and the prosecution will not have issues with time constraints.
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Strain became Police Chief of Abita Springs in 1988. He was elected St. Tammany Sheriff in 1995, where he served for 20 years until losing to current sheriff Randy Smith for re-election.
Smith released a statement Tuesday. He said some rank changes have been made in the department after looking into who may have been aware of what was going on. He also said more facts would likely come to light in the coming days about strains behavior and the depth of his corruption.
Strain had not been bonded out of the St. Tammany Jail as of Tuesday night. He was fingerprinted and photographed, and it's unclear if he'll remain in custody or meet his bond requirements to be released.
As for the work release investigation, according to multiple sources, the probe into Strain's connection to the Northshore work release scheme is still underway. In February, two co-conspirators (longtime friends and top deputies under Strain) pleaded guilty in federal court to funneling kickbacks to Strain from the profits they earned through the privately-owned inmate work release program.