District Attorney Charles J. Ballay announces the trial and conviction of John M. Gaines, 40 years of age, of Port Sulphur for the crime of Failure to Register as a Sex Offender, under Louisiana Revised Statutes, Article 15:542. The jury selection process began on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 and the jury returned a verdict of “Guilty as Charged” on January 27, 2013, in Division B of the 25th Judicial District Court, presided over by the Honorable Judge Michael D. Clement.
On June 15, 2012, Mr. Gaines was arrested on a warrant for failing to register as a sex offender based on his 1992 conviction for the rape of an 11-year-old girl. By the time of his arrest, Mr. Gaines was already five months beyond the statutory time for filing. As a Tier 3 sex offender, Mr. Gaines is required to register with the Plaquemines Parish Sheriffs Office every three months for his lifetime.
The case was investigated by Deputy Tiffanie Provenzano of the Plaquemines Parish Sheriffs Office Criminal Investigations Bureau; and it was prosecuted and tried by Assistant District Attorney Edward R. McGowan and First Assistant District Attorney Robert M. White.
After trial, Judge Clement ordered the defendant remanded to the custody of the Sheriff, and further ordered the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Division of Probation and Parole to conduct a pre-sentencing investigation. Mr. Gaines is scheduled to be sentenced on April 3, 2013. The sentencing range for the crime is from two to ten years in prison.
However, the District Attorney intends to invoke the Habitual Offender Statute based on Mr. Gaines’ other felony convictions for Distribution of Cocaine in 1999, Attempted Obstruction of Justice in 2004, Distribution of Cocaine and Second Degree Battery in 2009. Based on his additional convictions, the sentencing range is twenty years to life in prison.
PRESS RELEASE 1-18-2013- John Gaines