A bail modification request was again denied by a Centre County judge in the case of Justin S. Jackson.
Jackson, 24, was arrested and charged Feb. 14 on counts of sexual assault and aggravated indecent assault, having been accused of having sex with an underage female he was tasked with driving home from the Pennsylvania Treatment and Health center in State College.
He was bound over on all charges after a preliminary hearing on Feb. 22 when the commonwealth argued for a bail modification. Bail had previously been set for Jackson by District Judge Ronald Horner at 10 percent of $50,000.
District Judge Allen Sinclair, who presided over the hearing, agreed to keep the bail at the same amount.
An emergency motion to modify bail was submitted by the District Attorney’s Office and a hearing was held Thursday in the Centre County Courthouse Annex before county Judge Jonathan Grine.
Jackson’s attorney, Philip Masorti, made similar arguments to the arguments initially made Feb. 22, reminding the judge that his client is presumed innocent and that the evidence made in the case is almost entirely hearsay. He argued that Jackson is gainfully employed in Baltimore and is under supervised bail.
He further made the same argument that the last action made investigating the case happened in August 2016, taking nearly six months to bring charges against his client. He also insinuated that the District Attorney’s Office waited to bring charges until the election season had begun.
Assistant District Attorney Crystal Hundt argued that Masorti failed to bring up the factors for considering bail, including the nature of the charges. She claimed that Jackson manipulated his access to the female at the center of the investigation and did not stop his contact with her until his employer contacted him. She continued, saying that he both lied to his employer and coerced the girl to lie for him as well.
Grine ultimately decided to not modify Jackson’s bail, saying based on the arguments, documents in the case and the judgment of District Judge Horner.