A 25-year-old man is spending 60 days in the Cache County Jail for inappropriately touching two small children over their clothing during a camping trip last fall.
In October 2018, David Chase Jackson was charged in 1st District Court with four counts of sexual abuse of a child, a second-degree felony, which is punishable by 1 to 15 years in the Utah State Prison.
Jackson pleaded guilty in April to two counts of attempted forcible sexual abuse, each a third-degree felony.
The girls’ father was in the courtroom and was given the opportunity to address Jackson.
He implored Jackson to serve out his sentence so he could go home and tell his daughters that Jackson would never do harm to them again.
“I’m not pleading for a particular sentence but for you to understand how my little girls feel today — still, and from this day forward — it doesn’t go away for them,” he said.
And then, as he acknowledged what he believed to be Jackson’s sincere remorse, he urged him to move on and “be the best person you can be, not only for yourself, but for your son.”
According to court records, two girls under the age of 10 reported that Jackson touched them inappropriately over the clothing.
Defense attorney Earl Xais said Jackson has never demonstrated anything but remorse for his actions.
“There has not been an occasion that he has not broken down emotionally and shed tears over this,” Xais said.
He also pointed out that Jackson was allegedly under the influence of alcohol when the incident occurred, although he didn’t offer that information as an excuse for the behavior, he said.
“Whenever we talk about child sex abuse, we tend to categorize it all under one group, and of course that’s not what happened,” Judge Kevin Allen said at the time of sentencing on Monday. “There are varying degrees of abuse, and varying effects on the victims, so it is my job to look at reality, and not look at every case like they are the same.”
With the amended charges, a prison sentence of zero to five yeas has been stayed. As part of his probation, Jackson is to serve 60 days in jail, with no credit for the 8 days served upon his arrest. Jackson will also be required to register as a sex offender for 10 years, rather than the lifetime registration required for more serious offenses.