Florida Circuit Judge John Kastrenakes said he was glad to hear from family and friends who know Palm Beach County pastor James Jackson as an encouraging, positive light in so many peoples’ lives. He said he was a well-thought out and articulate man, as demonstrated in court Thursday and over the course of several letters Jackson has sent to the judge since his arrest in 2016.
And, Kastrenakes said, he thinks Jackson can do good and changes lives. But, he continued, it will be from prison after “a jury found (Jackson) guilty of unspeakable crimes.”
“It’s mind-blowing that a man of the cloth, a father, would do these things,” Kastrenakes said. “To have this dark side that is just incredible and deserving of severe punishment.”
Jackson, 50, was sentenced to 100 years in prison Thursday after a six-person jury found him guilty of 11 counts, including sexual activity with a child and lewd or lascivious molestation for acts with three girls in December.
Jackson, who maintains his innocence, said he wasn’t there Thursday to ask for leniency, but instead to discuss appreciation for those around him who continued to support him, his passion for helping teens and his own experience of sexual assault as a child.
“I don’t know how to feel remorse for this crime, because I did not commit a crime” Jackson said. “I am a pastor and I have lived up to the oath that I’ve sworn. I’ve never let it down, and I’ll never let it down.”
SOURCE: Hannah Winston
The Gainesville Sun