Man sentenced to life for 1998 rape of St. Bernard girl - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Man sentenced to life for 1998 rape of St. Bernard girl

John Jason Wallace (photo from SBPSO) John Jason Wallace (photo from SBPSO)

FOX 8 News received this press release from the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office Tuesday evening:

A 42-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison after a recent conviction for aggravated rape of a St. Bernard juvenile girl which happened in 1998.

John Jason Wallace, formerly of St. Bernard Parish, was sentenced to life on Monday, Oct, 29, by St. Bernard state District Judge Manny Fernandez, who presided over a trial in which Wallace was convicted by a jury on Oct. 25.

Wallace was found after the victim, now in her 20s, came forward to St. Bernard authorities in 2009, saying Wallace had sex with her in 1998 when she was a juvenile and that he had been recently trying to reach her recently through a social networking site.

Wallace was arrested in Shreveport in January 2010 on charges of obscenity and trespassing that were unrelated to the St. Bernard parish investigation. He was held on the arrest warrant from St. Bernard Parish alleging aggravated rape and was transferred for prosecution in St. Bernard in September 2010.

A St. Bernard judge signed the warrant of arrest following an investigation by sheriff's detectives, including seeing emails sent by Wallace to the woman's social networking site in which Wallace wanted to re-connect with her, Sheriff James Pohlmann said at the time of Wallace's arrest.

The woman, who still lives in St. Bernard Parish, said she was sexually abused by Wallace numerous times when she was 10 years old and he was living in the parish, Pohlmann said.

Wallace has previously served time in prison and was on probation for theft over $20,000 when he was arrested in Shreveport.

Maj. Darlene Poche, head of the St. Bernard sheriff's Juvenile Division which investigated the case once the woman came forward at the end of 2009, said the victim was scared by Wallace's attempts to reach out to her through her social networking site. St. Bernard sheriff's Sgt. Michelle Canepa of the Juvenile Division handled the investigation of the Wallace case.

Wallace has been held in St. Bernard Parish Prison since he was transferred to the parish for prosecution in 2010.

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