District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that today (July 14, 2023), a St. Tammany Parish jury unanimously found Charles Michael Folse, II, age 36 and of Covington, guilty as charged of three counts of aggravated rape of victims under the age of 13, one count of sexual battery of a victim under the age of 13, five counts of molestation of victims under the age of 13, and one count of molestation of a juvenile recurring during a period of more than one year. There were five minor victims involved in the abuse. The victims were repeatedly abused between 2007 and 2019. District Judge William Burris presided over the trial.
In June of 2019, the St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office began investigating a report of possible sexual abuse involving juveniles. The mother of one of the victims had received a call from the school the child attended. The school was concerned about the child’s behavior. When the victim was asked about it, the victim disclosed that sexual abuse by the defendant had been going on regularly for years. Family members then reached out to other young family members and four more also disclosed sexual abuse.
During trial, the jury was presented with evidence, including video of the victims’ forensic interviews, expert witness testimony as to DNA findings and medical examinations, and the defendant’s jail interview. In addition, all five victims testified and identified the defendant as their abuser.
In his closing argument to the jury, Assistant District Attorney Fred Treschwig addressed the jury with a slide that said, “EVIL.” He said that when this kind of evil is living among us – as the defendant was with the victims -- it is hard to spot. Treschwig presented a quote from two of the victim’s testimonies, “he threatened to kill me if I told,” and “he told me that if he went to jail, when he got out he would find me and hurt me.” So, “although this evil had no bloodshot eyes, horns or fangs he was relentless, predatory and out for the kill.”
Defense indicated in its closing argument that the girls had conspired and had made up the “stories” and just couldn’t get “off the train” once law enforcement got involved.
In his closing argument, Assistant District Attorney Iain Dover said that the victims had nothing to gain by coming to court and testifying through their tears, in “excruciating detail” the horrors they suffered; that they had not conspired, but all were intertwined in a “shared nightmare.”
He said that the defendant knew how to keep them each in line. One victim testified that the defendant had told her, “I’m going to do this to you so that I don’t have to do it to the others.” Dover finalized his address to the jury by saying, “The biggest, baddest and bravest people in this courtroom today aren’t the bikers, they are these five victims. Show them that they are heard, that they are protected, and they are believed. Show them something they’ve been denied – justice -- and justice for them is nothing short of sending this man to prison for the rest of his life…so that he can never hurt them again.”
The defendant will be sentenced on July 24, 2023 and faces life in prison without the benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.
Assistant District Attorneys Iain Dover and Fred Treschwig prosecuted the case. Detectives Jason Mire of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and now retired Detective Demetria Rice of the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. Dr. Anne Troy of the Aubrey Hepburn Care Center and DNA analyst Marci Herndon with the Louisiana State Police Crime Laboratory were the State’s expert witnesses. The DA’s office would also like to give a special thank you to ID Crisis and all the dedicated members of Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A.) who were present to show their support.