Former Wetumka mayor faces more sex crime charges
By Ken Childers
(Editor’s note: the following story contains graphic details that some readers may find disturbing. Discretion is advised).
The former mayor of Wetumka, who was arrested last month on child sexual abuse charges brought by the state of Illinois, is now facing several additional charges in Hughes County.
James Jackson, who resigned from his mayoral post in January, faces multiple new sex-related charges including lewd acts against a minor, possession of child pornography and bestiality.
According to the online publication NonDoc, District Attorney Paul Smith, who serves Hughes, Pontotoc and Seminole counties, said a court order has sealed the affidavit against Jackson, but Smith distributed a press release and the charging document.
In total, Jackson faces seven charges in Oklahoma, including conspiracy, lewd or indecent acts to child under 16 (two counts), violation of Oklahoma statute via computer, indecent exposure by proxy, aggravated possession of child pornography and crimes against nature by bestiality.
Jackson faces “not less than 25 years” in prison if convicted of the lewd and indecent act charges. The allegations forming the basis of those charges involve “looking upon, touching (and) feeling” a nine-month-old baby and taking a two-year-old “to a secret and remote place in a lewd or lascivious manner” when Jackson was 56 years old. He turned 59 in February 2020.
The charging document also alleges that between March 20, 2017, and Feb. 15, 2020, Jackson possessed “100 or more separate materials depicting child pornography,” including approximately 120 images, one video and four Microsoft Word documents.
Regarding the conspiracy charge, Jackson is said to have agreed with his wife and a young woman he referred to as his adopted daughter to lease a Tulsa storage unit to “seclude” the pornographic items. The former mayor has also been charged with sexual interaction with an animal.
Jackson was arrested March 26 in a joint effort between the FBI, the Hughes County Sheriff’s Department and Wetumka police. At the time, Jackson had been charged with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a minor in Whiteside County, Illinois, where he and his wife, Rebecca, lived previously.
Assigned a $500,000 bond, Jackson will face his charges in Oklahoma first, according to the press release sent by Smith. The district attorney said he consulted with the Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma before filing charges. A preliminary hearing is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 21.
On April 10, Rebecca, who was elected to the Wetumka City Council in April 2019 along with her husband, filed for divorce. The couple announced their resignations from the council at the end of a specially-called city council meeting on Friday, Jan. 31 in which councilor Norma Marshall accused Jackson of stalking her.