• Woman claiming child sex abuse by Louisiana sheriff passes polygraph

    A newly released polygraph examination confirms accusations that embattled St. Tammany Parish Sheriff, who is running for reelection, sexually abused his 13 year old sister-in-law almost two decades ago.

    In public office since 1986, Sheriff Rodney “Jack” Strain Jr. has instigated and committed numerous bad deed acts to detriment of St. Tammany Parish, said Belinda Parker Brown, president of Louisiana United International. “Instead of having the citizens of St. Tammany Parish undergo a lengthy and expensive recall process, Strain should resign immediately.” LUI is a Slidell-based organization, founded in 2009 to support and unify victims of unlawful discrimination in the State of Louisiana.

    On Sept. 15 Marcy Mullen, of Abita Springs, appeared for a polygraph examination at API Polygraph, LLC, a multi-state polygraph examiners’ company with 30-plus years’ law enforcement experience, to verify her complaint of sexual abuse by her brother-in-law Sheriff Strain. Computer generated results conclude that Mullen displayed no deception when answering questions with a 99.949 percent probability she was truthful.

    Mullen, now an adult, describes an incident in which at age 13, she was riding her bicycle all around Abita Springs and because she was hungry, she stopped at her sister’s house to get something to eat. She testified that Strain was the only one at the house. Dressed in what looked like work clothes, Strain attempted to demonstrate sexual positions to her, she said.

    “He started asking me, if I knew anything about sexual positions. I really wasn’t interested in that, because I was just 13- years- old and I didn’t have a boyfriend and didn’t want a boyfriend. But he just kept on talking to me about it, he walked over to me and told me to lie down on the bed and I did. Then he told me all about how to please a man in that position.”

    Mullen said she jumped up and ran out of the house to get away from Strain. “I really felt disgusted and creepy.” She never went back to her sister’s home again and would spend many years avoiding her family to avoid Strain, she said. “I believe this incident caused me a lot of problems in my life, including becoming an alcoholic.”

    Polygraph examiner S. Neil Rucker, who is specially trained in child sexual abuse cases, said that Mullen’s two-hour examination produced extremely accurate results. “The algorithm that determines the results was developed by Johns Hopkins Medical School in the mid-1990s and is highly reliable.” The “Poly Score,” which is routinely being upgraded is accepted in the U.S. court system as reliable.

    “Ms. Mullen told me the reason she was coming forward now is because her family didn’t believe her, and this was a way for her to vindicate herself,” said Rucker. “It’s not uncommon for a victim of sexual abuse to come forward many years later – it’s the only way they will ever have any credence.”

    Jennifer “Hap” Werner, who is one of Strain’s opponents for St. Tammany Parish Sheriff in the Oct. 22 election, said that where she has helped facilitate diversion programs and couple ministries, she has seen women experience long-lasting problems due to child sexual abuse from self-esteem issues to alcoholism, drug abuse and eating disorders.

    “People have for a long time covered-up what happens in their family, but there are rapes and batteries in this parish that are not being addressed as violent crime,” she said. “I strongly advise a victim to file charges and this is part of my making violent crime the number one priority; my deputies would have this as a priority and not play-it-down as a family domestic issue.”

    Prior accusations concerning Strain’s bad behavior by Strain are bountiful in the local and national news media, said Terry M. King, member of Concerned Citizens of St. Tammany. “There is a tangled web of corruption that needs unwinding.” The goal of CCST is to champion transparent and good governance.

    “We are pretty sickened by the whole thing,” said King. “This is an individual in a position of authority – in uniform – who is exhibiting behaviors that are entirely inappropriate.”

    Strain cannot be trusted, he said. “He’s probably going to try and discredit Ms. Mullen, but unless he’s willing to take a polygraph exam, I don’t think anyone should give his claims any credence.”

    Based on these allegations, it explains a lot of the public corruption problems that have stained St. Tammany Parish, he said. “It starts with a breakdown of leadership.”

    After being involved in fixing problems for the past six years, he said it has become crystal clear to him that Strain is the primary source of public corruption in St. Tammany.

    “This is the kind of behavior that man is capable of,” said King. “At this point, I think it would be appropriate to pursue a criminal investigation by the Office of State Inspector General.”

    In July 2014, LUI issued a resolution calling for the immediate resignation of Sheriff Strain for numerous enumerated actions against the rights and dignity of citizens of St. Tammany Parish. Having documented evidence of civil rights violations and egregious behavior on the part of the Sheriff, the resolution said Strain exposes the community he serves to significant safety risks due to physical abuse and neglect of his own duties.

    It takes brave citizens, like Marcy Mullen, to speak the truth even when the truth makes them a target, said Parker-Brown. “We sympathize with Marcy Mullen for having the courage to come forward to tell us how this man destroyed her life.”

    Raquel Okyay is a political columnist and commentator. She is frequently published at Human Events, Bearing Arms and Rockland County Times.

    Raquel Okyay

    Raquel Okyay is a political columnist and commentator. She is frequently published at Human Events, Bearing Arms and Rockland County Times.

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