KANSAS CITY, MO. – Bernard Jackson, the man who is considered a person of interest in the Waldo rape cases appeared in court on other rape charges yesterday. Bernard Jackson now faces 15 counts of robbery, rape and sodomy.
There was a very strong police presence on Monday when Jackson went before a Jackson County judge. The two-time sex offender wore shackles and an orange jump suit for his court appearance.
Prosecutors said DNA linked Jackson to cold case rapes in the Waldo and Armour Hills area from the 1980’s. If found guilty on the new charges, Jackson faces 15 life sentences. Jackson will be in court again on Wednesday to confirm that he has qualified for and is working with a public defender. His trial date is set for June 2. Bail was denied.
Jackson is charged with rapes in the same area where five rapes occurred between September 2009 and February 2010. Victims in the earlier attacks had described the suspect as a black male, about 6 feet tall and 250 pounds, bald, with pitted cheeks – perhaps from acne scars – and with a deep, smooth voice.
Police are calling Jackson a person of interest in the most recent string of Waldo rapes, but have not filed any charges. As much as some are relieved the person of interest in the Waldo rape series is off the streets, others worrying even more, and that includes me. Let me explain why.
As I mentioned in another post, Jackson was paroled from prison in 2008 after serving more than 20 years for attempted forcible rape, burglary, and three other convictions. Although he was only charged with one sexual assault, police suspected him in several others in the 1980s. Police hopes to tie Jackson by DNA to the recent Waldo attacks as well.
This case questions how well the US system is dealing with sexual offenders. Vidocq wonders what the conditions for release were for Jackson. Were any assessments done before he was released? I understand we cannot predict someone’s future actions 100% but how someone acted in the past does shed some light on how someone will act in the future. Did you know that Jackson started attacking women when he was only a teenager? If his release was unconditional, should we re-think releasing sexual offenders? Should the USA have federally established conditions or not?