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Boxer John Jackson asks for another delay in rape, child porn trial

Jackson’s trial is due to begin on April 11.

John Jackson before he fought Jermell Charlo.
John Jackson before he fought Jermell Charlo.
Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images

John Jackson, 33, former WBC super welterweight title challenger and son of Hall of Fame boxer Julian Jackson, has been in jail in Puerto Rico since February 2019. The American Virgin Islander is being held on multiple charges of rape against a minor and producing child pornography and is due to go on trial on April 11.

According to The St. Thomas Source Jackson has continually tried to delay his trial. Most recently, on April 1, Jackson submitted an application to the court to delay proceedings because he felt he was receiving ineffectual counsel from his lawyer.

The St. Thomas Source called Jackson’s application “a rambling and incoherent pro se motion”. A pro se motion is a motion written and filed by the defendant.

Jackson has been represented by five different lawyers during his time in jail. His trial had been set to begin last July. However, he was able to have it pushed back by claiming—on the day of jury selection—that he was not satisfied with his counsel.

His trial has also been delayed numerous times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jackson is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl and two other unnamed minors. He is also charged with producing child pornography and transporting a minor with intent to engage in criminal sex acts.

Jackson is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of the Virgin Islands. Federal prosecutors have sought to limit Jackson’s use of pro se motions, particularly those where he has attempted to disparage the reputations of his accusers.

Prosecutors have warned Jackson, who might end up representing himself in court, that his defence must not use any argument or evidence relating to the character, sexual behaviour or consent of his alleged victims (all of whom were children).

If found guilty Jackson could face a 15-30 year prison sentence.

In boxing Jackson holds a pro record of 21-3. He once held the WBC Youth World Super-Welterweight Title. In 2016 he unsuccessfully challenged for the vacant WBC Super Welterweight title, losing to Jermell Charlo by TKO.

His most recent bout was a win over Lucio Galindo in 2017.