Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Father defends 'predator' son

The father of a 22-year-old Longmont man who has been designated a "sexually violent predator" says his son made some bad decisions by having underage girlfriends and now has been given the label because he won't admit he sexually assaulted them.

A public meeting mandated by state law is scheduled for tonight to let neighbors of Sean Christopher Jackson know that he has been released from prison following a three-year sentence and that he will be living at 10480 Mooring Road.

"He just wants people to see this for what it is," his father, Dwight Jackson, said Monday.

Jackson was arrested in March 2004 at the age of 18 and faced charges that could have landed him in prison for life after two teens -- ages 14 and 15 -- told authorities he gave them alcohol and raped them. He denied the charges and said the sex was consensual, but he still pleaded guilty to lesser charges to spare a possible life sentence, according to his father.

Jackson pleaded guilty to attempted sexual assault and third-degree assault and was sentenced to two years of probation, according to court records. He also was required to register as a sex offender. Probation officers said he failed to do so, did not show up for substance-abuse classes andbroke off communication with probation officers -- violations of his probation.

A couple of months later, Jackson turned himself in to authorities and was sent to prison to finish his sentence. He was released last week from prison and will be overseen by a parole officer for the next two years.

On his way out, the prison board gave him the "sexually violent predator" label -- which will require him to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life -- after determining that he is not amenable to sex-offender treatment.

Dwight Jackson said his son should not be lumped in with "a 50-year-old man preying on 4- and 5-year-old little boys and girls."

"Until the indeterminate sentencing law is overturned, every person engaged in any sexual activity should be shaking in their boots. The criteria for becoming an SVP is entirely subjective and based on sketchy psychological evaluations," Dwight Jackson wrote in an e-mail. "People in Longmont should be more afraid of opportunistic DAs in Boulder who are costing taxpayers thousands of dollars than immature, misguided teenagers."

It is the second time the Boulder County Sheriff's Office has had to make an SVP notification to the community. Sean Patrick King, 28, was released to the Boulder County Jail in April 2006 after pleading guilty to sexual assault on a child in 1999. He was sent back to prison eight months later to serve a 32-year sentence after admitting to having pictures of nearly naked women in his wallet -- a violation of his probation.

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