CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – Former Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Marcus Jackson was released from prison on Friday, more than two years after he was arrested for sexually assaulting women while on duty.
Jackson, 28, now must complete nine months of post-release supervision and is required to register as a sex offender, said a spokesman with the N.C. Department of Public Safety.
Jackson pleaded guilty in December 2010 to more than a dozen sex-related charges in connection with assaults on six women. He was sentenced to about two years, though he received credit for 344 days he’d spent in jail after his initial arrest.
Records show Jackson most recently was incarcerated at the Pamlico Correctional Institution, a medium-custody facility near the Outer Banks. He’d also spent time in Central Prison, and had committed no infractions during his incarceration, according to the website of the state Division of Adult Correction.
Jackson’s public defender could not be reached for comment.
On Friday, an attorney for two of Jackson’s accusers said they were aware of his release and were worried about whether he would return to Charlotte.
“The irony is that Marcus Jackson is being released (Friday) from jail. He’s now paid his debt to society and is able to move on with his life,” said attorney Brad Smith. “Our clients, however, are still waiting for a resolution to this matter.”
Jackson was arrested in December of 2009 after two women told police he’d sexually assaulted them during traffic stops. In one case, a 17-year-old girl said Jackson offered not to write a ticket in exchange for her performing oral sex on him.
Authorities have said Jackson fondled the other five women.
Jackson was terminated after the initial allegations surfaced. But the case raised questions about his hiring with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police department.
Police admitted that a pre-employment screening did not turn up a domestic violence restraining order filed by Jackson’s girlfriend, which should have disqualified him. The department has since made changes to its hiring procedures.
Meanwhile, the city of Charlotte also has spent nearly $700,000 to defend and settle lawsuits filed by some of Jackson’s accusers.
But two remaining civil suits involving Smith’s clients are expected to go to trial in early 2013, after the accusers rejected the city’s offer. Smith said the case is currently in the discovery phase.
The city has retained outside counsel, including attorney Jim Cooney of the firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, to help with its defense on the civil cases. City officials said it is not unusual to retain outside counsel for cases involving an officer or employee, and the attorneys are paid from the city’s risk fund.