COVINGTON—The District Attorney’s Office won back-to-back victories Wednesday (May 20) and Thursday (May 21) when prosecutors got a guilty verdict from a jury and then a guilty plea in two separate cases that involved sex crimes against victims younger than 13.
A St. Tammany Parish jury deliberated just a half-hour Wednesday before finding Lewis E. Galloway, 70, of Covington, guilty of two counts of molestation of a juvenile under 13 and one count of sexual battery. Galloway faces up to 99 years in prison.
Over a three-year period, ending in March 2012, Galloway molested two girls, who were 9 and 10 years old when the abuse started. One of the victims testified that Galloway touched her inappropriately and made her touch him. She said she also witnessed him do the same to the other girl, who did not testify. The victim who testified said Galloway gave both girls money and played a game that required them to lift their shirts to reveal themselves to him when he used a certain word.
Another victim, now 22, also testified that when she was 9 or 10, Galloway molested her multiple times. She said it started with the same game and progressed over time to his taking her to work with him in the Tchefuncte Country Club Estates neighborhood in Madisonville. Once there, he sometimes parked in an isolated area, tried to remove her clothes, and performed a sexual act on her.
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office investigated the incidents that occurred in the Tchefuncte neighborhood, while the Covington Police Department investigated the later crimes. Assistant District Attorney Nick Noriea prosecuted Galloway in a two-day trial before Judge August J. Hand.
Noriea had selected a jury and was prepared to go to trial in Hand’s courtroom again Thursday, when Alfred M. Gaines Jr., 50, of Hickory, pled guilty to forcible rape and sexual battery of a 4-year-old girl who had been left in his care. Hand sentenced Gaines to 40 years on the rape charge and 40 years on the sexual battery charge. The sentences will run concurrently.
The girl’s mother trusted Gaines to care for the child for a short time while she ran errands. But once the mother left, Gaines played pornographic movies and performed an oral sexual act on the child. The crime came to light later when the girl told her mother what happened. The St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.