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Publish Date: 3/3/2005

Sex crime escapee turns self in at jail
Man to argue for guilty plea withdrawal


BOULDER — A man who pleaded guilty to sexual assault and later fled from the Boulder County Jail turned himself in at the jail Tuesday night and plans to withdraw his guilty plea, according to the convict’s father.

Sean Christopher Jackson, 19, plans to argue that he did not understand the consequences of pleading guilty to sexually assaulting two girls at Silver Creek High School, according to his father, Dwight Jackson.

Sean Jackson is in Boulder County Jail, hoping to find a public defender who will help him withdraw his Nov. 17 admission of guilt to two counts of sexual assault and take his case before a jury, Dwight Jackson said.

“He felt like he was fooled,” Jackson’s father said. “He was mad he had taken the plea bargain when he maintained he was innocent.”

Jackson pleaded guilty and agreed to serve in the Boulder County Jail’s work-release program, which requires inmates to sleep at the jail but allows them to leave to go to work during the day, Dwight Jackson said.

But Sean Jackson’s employer fired him Jan. 27, his father said, because he was placed in a Colorado database of child sex offenders. Jackson didn’t return to the jail that day.

Sean Jackson felt like he had “new hope” when he was told he could keep his job if he pleaded guilty, Dwight Jackson said.

“The job was critical,” Dwight Jackson said. “He felt he was terminated for no reason, just because he had to register as a child sex offender.”

County Judge John F. Stavely set Sean Jackson’s bail at $10,000 at an advisement hearing Wednesday. He will be charged with escape and failing to register as a sex offender at 2 p.m. Friday.

Reopening the case and taking it before a jury is not a scary prospect, the mother of one victim said Wednesday.

Prosecutor Rob Shapiro “would have preferred that it went to trial all along, because the cases he had were so solid,” said the woman, who requested anonymity.

“If that’s what Sean wants, I guess that’s what will happen,” she said.

Shapiro on Wednesday said Jackson understood what he was pleading guilty to.

“This is a common ploy defendants make when they screw up,” he said. “It’s not an unusual attempt for a desperate defendant.”

Brad Turner can be reached at 720-494-5420, or by e-mail at bturner@times-call.com.

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