A rural North Carolina family — father, mother and six sons — was arrested and charged in connection with the sexual abuse of a girl for nearly a decade, the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot reported.
Authorities said the investigation into John and Nita Jackson and their sons’ alleged activities began when the eldest son, 27-year-old Eric Jackson, issued a confession at the urging of Dan Horn, a pastor at Hope Baptist Church in Wake Forest. Horn said Eric Jackson first came to him in late 2012 saying he thought he “walk in the light and confess his sin to the authorities.”
“He sinned seriously,” Horn was quoted as saying. “It was an evil that needed to be exposed.”
Eric Jackson and his five brothers allegedly abused the victim from in January 2003, when she was 4 years old, until December 2012. The girl, who was “known to the family,” is reportedly now 16 years old and living in Colorado.
Jackson’s brothers — 19-year-old Aaron and Benjamin Jackson, 21-year-old Nathaniel Jackson, 23-year-old Mathew Jackson, and 25-year-old Jon Jackson — face charges ranging from sexual abuse to rape for their alleged attacks on the girl. Their parents were each charged with felony child neglect after police discovered they were allegedly aware of the attacks but did nothing. John and Nita Jackson, however, have allegedly refused to cooperate with investigators.
“I blame the parents for this,” Perquimans County Sheriff Eric Tilley told The Huffington Post. “It’s your responsibility as a parent to teach [your children] right and wrong. When you see a child doing something that is totally wrong and you don’t correct them, then the child thinks it’s OK.”
Tilley also told the Post that one of his investigators conducted an eight-hour interview with the victim in Colorado, during which she confirmed Eric Jackson’s allegations.
Watch video on the Jacksons’ arrest, as posted online on Tuesday, below.