Courts

Former school worker denies sexual assault

Blake William Jackson denies forcing student to perform sexual acts in December 2015

Blake William Jackson took the stand in Nova Scotia Supreme Court Wednesday and denied the sexual assault allegations against him.

On Monday, a former student testified in the same Halifax courtroom that Jackson made her perform oral sex in the back of his car in December 2015. She said on a scale of one to 10, the force Jackson had used was “at least eight.”

The identity of the victim, her relatives and the school cannot be reported because of a publication ban.

Jackson, 50, who has four children, a wife and a granddaughter, said he wanted to be a role model for students.

“If students had a free period, I allowed them to come into the room whether it was to work on studies or have a simple conversation,” he said in court.

“I wanted to give them the room to come be themselves.”

Jackson said he started helping the then 18-year-old woman when another teacher told him she was falling behind in math.

Along with being referred by teachers, sometimes the student came to his office to work by herself. Other times she brought friends.

On Dec. 15, 2015, the woman asked Jackson to take her to lunch, so Jackson drove her to Burger King. He told the court Wednesday that the woman told him at that lunch that she had had an abortion.

“I told her everybody makes mistakes and we talked about how she was going to make up assignment grades,” Jackson said.

The former student testified Monday Jackson asked her questions of a sexual nature during the lunch, then forced her to have oral sex.

Jackson testified Wednesday that nothing sexual ever happened with the student.

Jackson has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault. The trial continues Thursday in front of Justice Christa Brothers.