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Waldo rape suspect mute at court appearance

Bernard Jackson was called for a hearing at Jackson County Circuit Court at 12:30 p.m. this Thursday, Feb. 17 to face 22 new felony charges in connection with sexual assaults that occurred in the Waldo neighborhood.

Jackson was speechless at the hearing.

Jackson, 53, was escorted into the courtroom bound by chains around his waist and feet.

Jackson’s attorney, public defender Carie Allen, dismissed the official reading of the charges at court. Of those 22, 10 were counts of sodomy and three were counts of rape. Jackson County Chief Trial Attorney Ted Hunt requested a three-week prolongation for Jackson’s preliminary hearing.

The judge set his preliminary hearing for March 18 and set the plea as “not guilty.”

“We’ll see you then, sir,” Judge Kenneth Garrett III said.

According to the Kansas City Star, the hearing lasted less than a minute.

The courtroom gallery was made up of a small cluster of reporters and a court-room employee.

At the conclusion of the hearing, Allen admitted to reporters that she had not assessed any of the evidence against Jackson, a twice-convicted sex offender.

“There are four boxes of police reports waiting for us,” Allen said. “There’s a whole lot of information we have to sift through.”

Allen admitted she heard about the touch DNA evidence that linked Jackson to two of five sexual assaults in or near the Waldo area between Sept. 2009 and Feb. 2010.

Police used touch DNA to create a profile of the assailant.

Allen said skin cells are more easily transferred from location to location than cells from bodily tissues or fluids.

According to the Kansas City Star, Allen declined to comment whether she would attack the technology as part of her defense.

When asked about the well-being of Jackson, Allen said he was “coping the best he can with the media attention and the situation.”

She also made it clear that Jackson County jailers were making sure Jackson is out of harm’s way while incarcerated.

“He’s been doing really well,” Allen said.

However, the night Jackson was arrested last May, an inmate attacked him in jail.

According to the Kansas City Star, along with the 22 charges filed Wednesday Feb. 16, Jackson faces 15 felonies related to four sexual assaults from 1983 and 1984.

At the time of Jackson’s arrest last year, he was on house arrest after being paroled from prison for an attempted rape conviction from 1985.

He also has a 1977 rape conviction from California.

khardaway@unews.com

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