A former coach at Mercy High School, a Catholic prep school in Baltimore, Maryland, has been charged with sexual assault in connection with a “friends with benefits” relationship he allegedly had with a student at the school, WBAL-TV reports.
The female student’s attorney told the station he’s worried there may be more victims of Earnest Jackson, 30, who stands accused of the sexual solicitation of a minor, sex abuse of a minor, sex abuse third-degree, and the sex offense fourth-degree by a person in the position of authority.
“It began three years ago and was actually ongoing up until it was discovered,” the station quoted Steve Heisler, the girl’s family’s attorney, as saying.
A letter signed by school President Mary Beth Lennon read, in part, “Just before Thanksgiving, we received a report that a part-time coach had engaged in the sexual abuse of a student. We immediately reported this information to the civil authorities, and we have cooperated fully with them in their investigation.”
Mr Jackson was a part-time coach for indoor track, outdoor track, and soccer, according to the letter, but is no longer a coach at the school.
“We continue to be deeply upset as we learn additional information from media reports about our former part-time coach Ernest Jackson,” the letter continued. “The details of the charges against Mr. Jackson revealed in local news coverage early this evening are very disturbing to our entire community—our students, parents, faculty and staff, board, alumnae and friends.
“Be assured that we routinely review our policies and procedures around child protection and we provide training to ensure that safeguards are in place to protect our students. As always, anyone who has any knowledge of any child sexual abuse is urged to report it immediately to the appropriate authorities.”