Acquitted man misses court, arrested

GREENFIELD — A man who was acquitted on sexual assault charges Monday was rearrested after he failed to show up to hear the verdict that would have set him free.

Charles “Andy” Jackson, 47, of Greenfield, would have been free to go following a one-day trial Monday in Hancock County Superior Court 1. But officials say Jackson, who was facing charges of criminal confinement and sexual battery, never returned to court to hear the verdict.

The jury left the courtroom to deliberate on the case around 5 p.m., and the jury returned to deliver its verdict — not guilty — about an hour or so later, Hancock County Prosecutor Brent Eaton said.

Jackson, who had been instructed by the judge not to leave the courthouse property, was nowhere to be found.

A judge held Jackson in contempt of court, and he was rearrested and booked into the Hancock County Jail on Monday night, Eaton said.

Tuesday, prosecutors filed a new charge against Jackson: failure to appear in court, a Level 6 felony.

A Level 6 felony carries a penalty range of six months to 2½ years and up to $10,000 in fines. While a change in the criminal code changes how charges are classified, the Level 6 felony carries about the same penalty as the charges that brought Jackson to trial Monday.

Jackson’s original charges stem from a case filed in June 2014.

A young woman accused Jackson of fondling her while she was sleeping and climbing on top of her when she awoke. Police attempted to interview Jackson during the investigation, but he did not return their phone calls, court records state.

Jackson was also facing a habitual offender enhancement to the charges because he has a criminal history, court records show.

When Jackson failed to show up for the conclusion of the trial Monday, Eaton said he didn’t hesitate to pursue additional charges.

“If he had followed the law, he’d be free,” Eaton said. “Another offense occurred; we’re gonna pursue it.”

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Noelle Steele is editor of the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3232 or