The sheriff of a small county in northwest North Carolina says he is “disgusted” by the parents of six men who are accused of sexually abusing their sister for nearly a decade, at a private family compound.
“I blame the parents for this,” Perquimans County Sheriff Eric Tilley told The Huffington Post on Tuesday. “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 said his deputies charged the six brothers, ranging in age from 19 to 27, on May 6, with a number of crimes related to the alleged sexual abuse of their 16-year-old sister. The sheriff said the alleged abuse began when the girl was 4 years old and continued until she was almost 15.
Authorities have identified the brothers as Aaron Jackson, 19, Benjamin Jackson, also 19, Nathaniel Jackson, 21, Mathew Jackson, 23, Jon Jackson, 25, and Eric Jackson, 27.
Charges against the brothers range from rape to sexual assault, according to Tilley.
The men’s parents, John Jackson, 65 and Nita Jackson, 54, face charges of felony child abuse.
“Part of the investigation revealed that, at one point, the mother observed some of this activity and never did anything about it,” Tilley said of the charges against the parents.
Tilley described the family as “bizarre” and said he believes the father is “anti-government” and “anti-schools.”
“The children were home schooled with very limited education,” said the sheriff. “They were very private and the whole yard has a fence around it — like a little compound. They’re very different.”
The allegations of abuse surfaced in December 2012, when Eric Jackson allegedly told the pastor at Hope Baptist Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina, about the alleged abuse.
“He confided in his pastor and his pastor told him that was wrong and not the way normal families are,” said Tilley.
After speaking with the pastor, Eric Jackson allegedly went to the Perquimans County Sheriff’s Office and told them that he, along with five of his siblings, had been sexually abusing their sister.
“From there, we had two more brothers confirm what he said,” Tilley said.
Despite the alleged confessions, police needed more evidence to make arrests in the case. For that, they attempted to speak with the alleged victim. That task, authorities said, initially proved futile.
“Her parents refused to let us talk to her and [they] moved to Colorado,” said Tilley.
Authorities in Colorado were notified of the situation and the Department of Human Services in Colorado Springs took custody of the victim. It was then, Tilley said, that his deputies were able to talk to the girl about the alleged sexual abuse.
“I sent one of my investigators to Colorado and he had an eight-hour interview with her,” Tilley said. “She confirmed everything her brothers told us.”
The case was presented to a grand jury in North Carolina and they handed down indictments against the parents and brothers in April.
All six of the brothers were arrested on May 6 and are being held on a $150,000 bond. The parents are currently free on a $15,000 bond.
“I never thought this case would go anywhere because we could not get any cooperation, but they sealed their own fate when they moved to Colorado and that child was ready to talk,” Tilley said.
The sheriff paused, and then added, “Nothing good will come out of this unless this young lady is able to move on.”
Source: Huffington Post