John Jackson's 25-Year Sentence for Sex Crimes Against Minors Will Stand, Court of Appeals Rules

U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the 25-year prison sentence of John Jackson, dismissing challenges to his 2022 convictions

  • Janeka Simon
  • June 10, 2024


ST. THOMAS — John Jackson’s convictions for sex crimes against minors will stand, following a ruling from a panel of judges in the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Jackson was arrested in 2019 after a man went to police to report that the former Olympic boxer was having sex with his minor daughter. In April 2022, he was found guilty of first- and second-degree rape, child pornography, and transportation of a minor for sexual activity. V.I. Chief District Judge Robert Molloy sentenced him to 25 years in prison for the offenses.‌

His lawyers vowed to appeal the latter charges, arguing that prosecutors did not provide sufficient evidence that Jackson intended to produce child pornography. They also did not provide his intent to engage in sexual activity following the transportation of the minors, his attorneys alleged. Further, they claimed that the evidence which was used to convict Jackson was collected via an invalid warrant, and therefore should never have been admitted in court.‌

In a 14-page judgment issued on Friday, the panel of three appellate judges dispensed with each of the arguments from Jackson’s attorneys.‌

They ruled that the failure of law enforcement officers to present Jackson with a complete copy of the search warrant, including attachments, at the time of the warrant’s execution, was an error. Notwithstanding, that error did not justify the suppression of evidence collected as a result of that search warrant. Because the magistrate signed off on the warrant after having reviewed all attachments, the judicial panel expressed confidence that probably cause was properly found for the search of the premises and subsequent seizure of items.‌

As for his intent to produce child pornography, the judges found that the video Jackson produced of his encounter with the minor was of an explicitly sexual nature. “The angle of the camera, which focused on their genitals, and the fact that Jackson watched it with Jane Doe 1 afterwards show that he had a particular purpose in recording their sexual activities,” the panel ruled.

‌Having examined the stories of the three minors who testified in court that Jackson picked them up in his car and drove them to locations where he would then have sex, along with Jackson’s own admission that he drove at least one girl to his apartment for sex, the judges found that the jury had sufficient evidence to conclude that he did transport the minor girls “so that he could have sex with them.”

Although the trio of judges affirmed Jackson’s convictions, the court notes that the decision does not create precedent, as it was not made by the full bench. The matter is now within the two-week window within which Jackson must file a petition for a rehearing if he wishes to do so.

Get the latest news straight to your phone with the VI Consortium app.