by: Andrew Carr
William Jackson, 58, of New Cumberland, had been scheduled to be sentenced Monday. The former music minister at the Bible Baptist School in Shiremanstown admitted to touching and having sexually explicit talks with seven boys between the ages of 8 and 17. The incidents happened between January 2010 and September 2012.
During the plea proceedings, Senior Assistant District Attorney Christin Mehrtens-Carlin said several of the victims reported that Jackson touched them inappropriately, engaged in private massages and requested them to do lewd acts, all in his capacity as a teacher at the school or giving private lessons at school.
Jackson could face a total of 73 years in prison as well as lifetime Megan’s Law registration when sentenced. He pleaded guilty March 26 to 11 of 35 sexual assault charges against him including three counts of institutional sexual assault, five felony counts of corruption of minors, one consolidated felony count of indecent assault and two counts of misdemeanor corruption of minors.
At the time of the plea, Jackson’s attorney, Karl Rominger, said his client plans to read an apology to the families during the sentencing procedures.
Jackson, who remains in Cumberland County Prison on $150,000 cash bail, was fired from his position as music minister on Sept. 10 amid the allegations of sexual abuse.
Court documents show an investigation was initiated after concerned parents approached school officials about the possible abuse. Those concerns were then brought to law enforcement by the school administration.
The documents state a 17-year-old boy said Jackson fondled him. The parents of the boy supplied police with 19 pages of text and emails Jackson had sent to the boy, some of which contained graphic language.
Shiremanstown Police initiated the investigation and contacted the district attorney’s Office of Criminal Investigation Division. Several other departments were included in the investigation.
The boy told police that he had been fondled by Jackson when he was 15, and spoke of another student, who was also interviewed by police. That boy said Jackson had placed his hand on his genital area over the clothes two to three times beginning in February. He also told police that he would attend counseling sessions with Jackson during which abuse occurred.
Mehrtens-Carlin told the court at the time of the guilty plea that through the investigation, the number of victims grew to seven children from six different families.
This article was written by Andrew Carr and originally published on cumberlink