District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that on Monday (July 24, 2023), Charles Michael Folse,
II, age 36 and of Covington, was sentenced by District Judge William Burris on multiple charges involving the sexual abuse of five juveniles. Four of the victims and the mothers of those victims read their victim impact statements before the court, all asking that the Judge assure that he doesn’t get out to do this to any other children.
The defendant was then sentenced to:
· Three life sentences for three counts of aggravated rape of victims under the age of 13,
· 99 years for each of the five counts of molestation of victims under the age of 13,
· 99 years for one count of sexual battery of a victim under the age of 13 and
· 40 years for one count of molestation of a juvenile recurring during a period of more than one year.
· All sentences are to be served consecutively, without the benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.
On July 14, 2023, a St. Tammany Parish jury unanimously found Folse guilty as charged on all ten charges the defendant faced.
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.”
Assistant District Attorneys Iain Dover and Fred Treschwig prosecuted the case.