Covington woman found guilty of raping child over a period of several years

Covington woman found guilty of raping child over a period of several years
(Source: DA Warren Montgomery's Office)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A Covington woman was found guilty Thursday (March 28) of two counts of aggravated rape and three counts of sexual battery for repeatedly raping a child under age 13 with another adult over a period of several years, according to District Attorney Warren Montgomery.

The jury deliberated for 38 minutes before finding Sandra E. Gaines, 39, guilty of all charges. She faces mandatory life in prison when she is sentenced before Judge William J. Burris on April 10.

Gaines’s longtime boyfriend, Robert Cardell Flowers, was convicted by a St. Tammany Parish jury on the same charges in June 2015, and he was sentenced a month later to spend the rest of his life in prison.

The victim, now 18, testified during Gaines’ trial this week that the pair began touching her sexually when she was about 5 years old and that the abuse progressed and continued for several years through 2012. The victim testified that she was repeatedly raped during that time.

Gaines’ attorneys acknowledged that the girl had been sexually abused by Flowers, but they said she lied when she included Gaines in the allegations. After almost two days of testimony, the jury rejected that argument, convicting Gaines on all five counts.

Assistant District Attorney Jay Adair told the jury: “Listen to what you’ve heard. Your decision should be based on reason and common sense. Don’t leave your common sense in the jury box when you leave. You are required to take it with you when you deliberate.”

Assistant District Attorney Michael Cochran assisted in the prosecution. The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation.

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