Gaines was convicted by a St. Tammany Parish jury in March after a three-day trial. Gaines’ longtime boyfriend, Robert Cardell Flowers (32), also of Covington, had been convicted by a St. Tammany Parish jury on the same charges in June 2015, and he also is serving a life sentence.
The victim, now 18, testified during Gaines’ trial that Gaines and Flowers 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. Assistant District Attorney Jay Adair prosecuted the case, with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Michael Cochran. The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation.