HARRISBURG – Agents from the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit have arrested a Northumberland County man accused of sending sexually explicit text messages and nude photos to a young teenage girl.
Kelly identified the defendant as Edward J. Jackson Jr., age 39, of 855 Montour St., Milton.
According to the criminal complaint, Jackson engaged in a series of inappropriate and sexually explicit text message conversations with a girl from Union County, allegedly starting when she was 15-years old.
Kelly said that Jackson allegedly used cell phone messages and Facebook to communicate with the girl – reportedly developing a “code” to conceal their chats and verify that he was actually sending messages to the girl, and not a parent or friend.
According to the criminal charges, the victim first encountered Jackson when he was the DJ at a school dance, and Jackson was later hired to perform at family birthday parties. Initial flirtatious messages allegedly escalated to include requests that the girl meet Jackson for sex, along with the transmission of nude photos.
Kelly said the victim began to avoid communication with Jackson following the receipt of sexual messages, but he allegedly continued to contact her on a regular basis, sending messages early in the morning or late at night on an almost daily basis. At one point, Jackson cautioned the girl about telling anyone about their communications, allegedly sending a text message stating, “if anyone finds out about this, you?ll regret it.”
According to the complaint, Jackson visited the victim’s home when she was alone, attempting to grab and kiss her. He also allegedly posted a message on the victim’s Facebook page about giving her an early birthday present, which came immediately after a text message exchange about engaging in sexual activity.
The victim’s parents contacted the Mifflinburg Police Department on May 9th, 2012, after discovering an inappropriate message that Jackson had allegedly sent to their daughter. On May 14th, detectives from the police department contacted the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit and requested assistance. A child predator investigation was immediately initiated following the referral from Mifflinburg Police.
Jackson was arrested at his home today by agents from the Child Predator Unit, assisted by Pennsylvania State Police from the Milton Barracks.
A search warrant was also executed at Jackson’s home, resulting in the seizure of four computers and numerous data storage devices, which will be analyzed by the Attorney General?s Computer Forensics Unit as part of an ongoing investigation.
Jackson is charged with one count of unlawful contact with a minor and one count of criminal use of a communications facility, both third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.
Jackson was preliminarily arraigned before Lewisburg, Union County Magisterial District Judge Leo S. Armbruster, who set bail at $10,000 straight. Jackson is also prohibited from having any direct or third-party contact with the victim.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 19th, at 11:30 a.m., before Mifflinburg Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey L. Mensch.
The case will be prosecuted in Union County by Deputy Attorney General Christopher J. Jones of the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit.
Attorney General Kelly thanked the Mifflinburg Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police from the Milton Barracks and the Milton Area School District administration for their cooperation and assistance with this investigation.
Kelly noted that this remains an ongoing investigation and encouraged anyone with information related to this case, or other incidents involving child predators, to contact the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit by using the “Report a Predator” link on the Attorney General’s website or by calling the toll-free Child Predator Hotline at 800-385-1044.
Kelly explained that the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit has made 304 arrests involving individuals from across Pennsylvania and numerous other states – conducting proactive investigations and also assisting local law enforcement with cases involving the attempted sexual exploitation of children.
Kelly encouraged parents to stress the importance of not sharing personal information with adults – either online or in person – including full names, ages, addresses, phone numbers and school information, and added that children should always be especially cautious about strangers who approach them online.
Additionally, Kelly urged parents to regularly discuss Internet safety and security issues with their children, including the importance of telling a trusted adult if someone engages in inappropriate activity, such as:
Sending or requesting nude photos or explicit videos.
Sharing links to pornography.
Trying to arrange face-to-face meetings.