HERTFORD, N.C. (WAVY) — Six brothers in Perquimans County and their parents have been charged in relation to the sexual abuse of a young girl for more than 10 years. Tuesday, 10 On Your Side spoke with the pastor who convinced one of them to come forward to authorities.
Perquimans County Sheriff Eric Tilley said the brothers were arrested last Tuesday and charged with crimes related to raping a girl known to them beginning when she was 4 years old until she was about 15:
- Eric Jackson, 27, was charged with three counts rape of a child, three counts statutory rape of a child less than six years old and three counts of sex offense.
- Jon Jackson, 25, was charged with first degree sex offense.
- Mathew Jackson, 23, was charged with five counts of rape of a child.
- Nathaniel Jackson, 21, was charged with two counts of first degree sexual offense and three counts of statutory rape.
- Benjamin Jackson, 19, was charged with five counts statutory rape.
- Aaron Jackson, 19, was charged with five counts statutory rape.
Tilley said the investigation began in December 2012 when one of the brothers spoke with his pastor about the abuse and then confessed to the Perquimans County Sheriff’s Office.
“That ultimately got the first suspect to come see us,” Tilley said about the pastor’s role in the case. “That’s how the case started.”
Elder Dan Horn from Hope Baptist Church in Wake Forest, N.C. has known Eric, Jon Marc, and Matthew Jackson for about five years. Horn said Eric came to him in early 2012 and said he had something he needed to talk about regarding his family, but he wasn’t ready to go into the details.
Then, in December 2012, Eric went back to Horn and confessed to the assaults on the victim.
“He really wanted the things in the family to be healed, because the family had problems,” Horn explained.
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 said he met with Eric twice about the assaults. After the first meeting, Horn called the Perquimans County Sheriff’s Office himself and reported the situation; he explained, it’s the law for an adult to report the sexual molestation of a child, despite the fact that he’s a pastor.
Horn said he was honest with Eric about calling the sheriff’s office, and a few days later the two of them drove to Perquimans County where Eric confessed to a detective.
The sheriff said after that, two other brothers confessed, and indictments took place on April 24.
One of the brothers allegedly told deputies his mother witnessed the abuse on at least one occasion and walked away. Tilley said the parents are charged because they failed to take action to stop the abuse. And although John and Nita turned themselves into authorities — after three of their sons had already done so — Tilley said they have not cooperated with the investigation, refusing to discuss the alleged assaults.
The victim, who is now 16 years-old, is known to the the family. However, it is WAVY.com’s policy not to reveal a sexual assault victim’s identity.
“The family pretty much kept to themselves,” said neighbor Bette Butler. “When they first moved here, we did have them to dinner a couple times. They seemed like a very normal people.”
The family lives in a secluded house on Chapanoke Road. Tilley said the sons were home schooled and do not have much education.
“To have something like that with the kids and the little girl, I would have never in my life expected something like that, never,” added another neighbor.
John and Nita Jackson have bonded out of jail, each on a $15,000 secured bond. The brothers are being held in Albemarle District Jail under secured bonds of up to $200,000 each, awaiting arraignment.