The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced today that Michael David Jackson, age 39, of Tahlequah was found guilty by a federal jury of two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a minor under 12, one count of abusive sexual contact with a child under 12 years, one count of sexual exploitation of a child/use of a child to produce a visual depiction, and two counts of possession of certain material involving the sexual exploitation of a minor. The jury trial began with testimony on Monday and concluded on Thursday with the guilty verdicts. The punishment for aggravated sexual abuse of a minor under 12 is a mandatory minimum of not less than 30 years imprisonment.
During the jury trial, the United States presented evidence that Jackson was a close relative of the 11-year old victim. The victim testified in this case, in detail, how Jackson perpetrated the abuse and how it made her feel. The evidence showed that Jackson began sexually abusing the victim in the fall of 2019 and the abuse continued until late-December 2019. The child’s parents testified they relied on Jackson to provide childcare for them while they worked because they thought they could trust Jackson. In his caretaking role, Jackson had continued access to the child, which included staying overnight. Jackson used this time with the victim to sexually abuse her. The trial evidence also proved Jackson used a cell phone camera to capture images of the abuse.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma prosecuted the case because the defendant is a member of a federally-recognized Indian tribe and the crime occurred in Cherokee County, within the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation, and within the Eastern District of Oklahoma.
The guilty verdicts were the result of an investigation by the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.