Ex-teacher pleads guilty to fondling

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, July 27, 2005

A former Loyd Star Attendance Center teacher received asuspended sentence last week after pleading guilty to one felonycount of fondling a student earlier this year.

Minna E. Jackson, 43, of 2533 Old Church Dr., Wesson, wassentenced to one year in prison, which was suspended for five yearsprobation, on one count of touching, handling or feeling a childfor lustful purposes. Jackson was sentenced by Judge Mike SmithMonday during a court term in Magnolia.

“She pled blind to a bill of information,” said DistrictAttorney Dee Bates.

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Pleading guilty to a bill of information means Jackson avoided agrand jury indictment and related proceedings.

According to the court record, the crime happened between Feb. 1and March 21 of this year. Bates said the activity did not occur onschool grounds.

“The allegation was she had a relationship with a male childunder age 18,” said Bates, pointing out the student was 16.

Danny Smith, Jackson’s attorney, did not return a Friday phonecall seeking comment on the case.

Jackson resigned from her teaching position before the end ofthe previous school year, said a spokesman for the Lincoln CountySchool District. With the felony conviction, she will no longer beable to teach school, court officials said.

In addition to probation, Jackson was ordered to receivecounseling over an 18-month period and to pay a $1,000 fine and$500 to the Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund. She was alsoprohibited from taking part in activities involving minors,although she may attend events as a parent or spectator with herown children.

Court officials said both the defendant and the victim’s familywanted to expedite the case. With Smith not scheduled to be back inLincoln County until mid-August, the plea was handled in PikeCounty in order to accommodate their wishes.