The following is a sad, tragic story that deals with a sexual predator who of all things was a foster parent. Had anyone bothered to check, it would have been obvious that John Hardy Jackson should never have been a foster parent. Jackson’s first wife found the man fondling their one-year-old son and filed for divorce. He overdosed on drugs and was arrested for drunken driving. Jackson beat his own son with a belt and kicked his pregnant wife in the stomach, causing her to lose that baby. Nevertheless, Jackson’s Mountain View home was licensed as a foster home.
The sex acts this man forced the children in his care to perform sent him to prison for 220 years. And now Jackson’s behavior has resulted in a civil court jury in San Jose awarding $30 million to one of his male victims, who is now 25 year old. Starting when he was 11 years old, the victim was forced into more than 600 acts of sexual abuse from December 1995 to March 1999, according to testimony in the case. The victim finally left the home when his father was able to take him back.
The jury found the Giarretto Institute, the private foster family agency responsible for licensing and monitoring foster homes including Jackson’s, was negligent and liable for 75% of the abuse that was inflicted on the victim. Jackson was found to be liable for the balance. Giarretto, founded in San Jose decades before as a sex abuse treatment program for incest victims and their families, was then a small sex-abuse treatment and foster family agency. The institute was acquired by EMQ FamiliesFirst in March 1999, but EMQ is not liable for any of the $30 million judgment. The sex abuse was said to have occurred over a long period of time before its acquisition of the Giarretto Institute.
At the time, the Giarretto Institute had a contract with Santa Clara County to recruit, certify and monitor some foster homes. The state had outsourced much of its foster care oversight to private agencies, which were paid by the county. Because of problems with that system, the state reclaimed foster care responsibilities in 1999.
When children in Jackson’s care said he was sexually abusing them, the Giarretto Institute was responsible for investigating the allegations. All of them were dismissed as untrue. The investigator was said to have told the children they “were lying.” Jackson had access to the children by himself from 8 a.m. until about 5 p.m. every day. During that time, he had sex with the children. He made the children have sex with each other and filmed it. He made the children fix him drinks, and sometimes he beat them, according to the children.
In 2006, Jackson was convicted in Santa Clara County of nine counts of lewd or lascivious acts on a child by force, violence, duress, menace and fear, and seven counts of lewd or lascivious acts on a child under 14. The conviction included abuse that occurred when Jackson moved from Santa Clara County to Colorado. One of the girls was five years old at the time of the abuse. Three other foster children who also were in the Jackson home and suffered similar abuse have lawsuits pending. Steven Estey, a lawyer from San Diego, represented the Plaintiff and did a very good job. This sort of thing can’t be tolerated and it takes the court system – both criminal and civil – to make sure it doesn’t.
Source: Mercury News
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