“You’ll go to Hell if you tell anyone,” her older brothers would warn. Sometimes they would also threaten to kill her. The sexual assaults began when the now-17-year-old girl was four, escalated into incest and rape at some point, and continued for a decade. After each assault, they would ask for her forgiveness.
On Thursday, four of the six brothers plead guilty at the Perquimans County Court in North Carolina, according to WTKR. The charges against the six Jackson brothers are different for each one, and include statutory rape, rape of a child less than six years old, first degree sex offense, and incest.
Alas, the four Jackson brothers got away with pleading guilty to lesser sexual offenses. According to WTKR:
Eric [age 27] and Matthew  were both sentenced to serve between 144 and 182 months in jail. Benjamin was sentenced to serve 24 months in jail.
Nathaniel Jackson  pleaded no contest as part of a plea deal. He was sentenced to serve 24 months in jail.
Jon Jackson  is expected to take a plea deal but could not enter a plea due to a conflict with the judge. His case has been continued for the time being.
The remaining Jackson brother, 19-year-old Benjamin, has demanded a trial. Eric and Matthew tearfully apologized to their sister and asked for her forgiveness in court. She answered:
“Forgiveness is not mine to give. It’s God’s. You need to take it up with Him.”
WHERE WERE THE JACKSON SIBLING’S PARENTS?
And where were these siblings parents while this was going on? WAVY reports John and Nita Jackson knew what was happening and did nothing to stop it. In fact, they grabbed the kids and high-tailed it to Colorado when they got wind of the investigation. Luckily, the authorities caught up with the Jackson family and were able to get the girl talk with them. She currently lives with relatives. According to WAVY:
Their parents, John and Nita Jackson, are also facing child neglect, child abuse, and accessory to sexual abuse charges related to this case. They appeared in court for a bond hearing — a judged decided to keep them in custody. Nita and John Jackson will be back in court in August.
The Jackson family kept to themselves and had very little contact with the outside world. They lived in an isolated mini-compound behind a tall fence and home schooled the kids. Even if the terrified Jackson Girl had managed to muster up the courage to ask for help, her opportunities to see it would have been extremely limited.
Huffington Post adds Perquimans County Sheriff Eric Tilley had some choice words for the Jackson family’s parents. He called them “bizarre” and said he believes they are “anti-government” and “anti-schools.”
“The children were home schooled with very limited education. They were very private and the whole yard has a fence around it — like a little compound. They’re very different.”
Tilley also revealed the mother had actually seen some of the “activity” and that the Jackson parents refused to cooperate or talk with police at all. He angrily added:
“I blame the parents for this,. 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.”
WAVY reports this horrific ongoing sexual assaults came to light when Eric Jackson, now age 27, unburdened his soul to a pastor from his church. Unlike the 19 Kids And Counting Duggar family’s pastor, Dan Horn took his role as a mandated reporter seriously and called the Perquimans (N.C.) Sheriff’s Office. According to WAVY:
Horn told Eric he would need to confess to the authorities. Horn told WAVY.com the advice he gave Eric: “He needs to confess his sin and make restitution in ways that he can. One of the ways that he could, was to go confess to the authorities so that the things that were happening in his house could be stopped.”
Horn also explained the eldest Jackson brother “really wanted the things in the family to be healed, because the family had problems.”
Alas, it’ll probably be a long time before Jackson’s sister experiences any healing. Here’s the news report on the Jackson family from WKTR.
PURITY CULTURE AND RAPE CULTURE ARE TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN.
It’s no accident that so-called “Christian” families like the Jacksons and the Duggars keep making headlines for sexual misconduct, or that so many GOP lawmakers get caught making bizarre comments about rape. It’s called “purity culture,” and it’s an extreme, patriarchal form of Christianity that fetishizes virginity and allows girls and women no autonomy or rights. In purity culture, a father has absolute authority over his wife and children, the children are home schooled to keep them from outside influences,and a female’s body belongs to her father and then her husband, but is never her own. Christian purity culture is basically a recipe for rape and other sexual abuse.
In her searing blog post, Dianna E. Anderson explains how purity culture and rape culture are two sides of the same coin:
I was raised with the idea that I didn’t have a right to my own body, and that I didn’t have the right to say yes until I was married, at which point I didn’t have the right to say no. My body was never my own, but rather the property of whatever man happened to ask me to marry him. My virginity was the most precious thing I had to offer, and it was my responsibility to protect it, and if I was coerced into “giving it away,” I would have to repent.
It’s interesting how so many fundamentalist Christians go on about how they’re being persecuted and we’re assaulting their religious freedoms while they’reso adamant about their right to assault women and take away their freedom.
Featured image with the six Jackson brothers’ and their parents’ mug shots: Perquimans County