In December 2012, North Carolina's Eric Jackson reportedly went to a church elder to make a confession: He and his five brothers had abused a young girl over the course of a decade. He reportedly said he needed to "walk in the light and confess his sin."
More than a year later, Eric's decision to clear his conscience has resulted in charges against him and his siblings, as well as their parents, who are suspected of knowing about what was happening to the girl, who's now sixteen and living in Colorado, but did nothing to stop it.
According to Virginia's WAVY-TV, the Jackson brothers, who range in age from nineteen to 27, were home schooled and don't have much education. Moreover, the family is described as a group of loners who've turned their once-beautiful Perquimans County property into a pig sty. However, they clearly took their religion seriously. Note that Eric, a professional piano tuner, named his business Redeeming the Tune.
In search of non-musical redemption, Eric is said to have reached out to Elder Dan Horn from Hope Baptist Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina early in 2012; numerous members of the family had attended the church for several years previous to that time. According to Horn, who spoke to WAVY-TV in a video on view below, Eric "said he had something he needed to talk about regarding his family, but he wasn't ready to go into the details."
By year's end, Eric had gotten up the courage to come clean, Horn says. But he didn't go to authorities on his own. After a couple of counseling sessions, Horn phoned the local Perquimans County Sheriff's Office on his own and eventually accompanied Eric to meet with investigators. There, Eric repeated his confession to law enforcers.
Busts weren't immediately forthcoming, however. The Colorado Springs Gazette quotes a local North Carolina newspaper, the Perquimans Weekly, as reporting that the victim was initially uncooperative.
She wasn't the only one. In an interview with WAVY-TV, Perquimans County Sheriff Eric Tilley said the Jackson boys' parents, John and Nita, refused to speak with him or anyone else from his office.
Did the elder Jacksons know what had been going on? One of the brothers reportedly told investigators that Nita had walked in on an episode of abuse at least once -- but rather than putting a stop to it, she simply walked away. Continue for more about the arrest of the Jackson family on abuse and neglect charges, including booking photos, videos and more.
Eventually, however, the now-Colorado-based victim began speaking with authorities. Investigators eventually traveled to Colorado to interview her.
This year, the criminal case finally began moving forward. The Virginian-Pilot newspaper reports that John and Nita were indicted in late April, with the brothers following last week.
The accusations are startling. Here's how WAVY-TV lays them out:
• 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.
In addition, Nita and John face allegations of felony child neglect. They've reportedly bonded out, but the dollar amount on the boys is considerably higher. They remain behind bars at this writing.
Here are booking photos of the other Jacksons beyond Nita.
Continue to watch two WAVY-TV reports. The first features an interview with Sheriff Eric Tilley, while the second includes comments from Elder Dan Horn. They're followed by Eric Jackson's indictment.
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More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa March 2012: "David Tarver gets 88 years to life for molesting his own children -- and more."