Courts

Trial starts for former school board support worker charged with sexual assault

Student was 18 years old at the time

A former high school student testified Monday that former support worker Blake William Jackson forced her to perform oral sex in the back of his car.

“My physical body just froze,” the woman told court during the first day of Jackson’s trial. The woman’s identity and the name of the school she attended cannot be reported because of a publication ban.

Jackson, 50, has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault. He’s accused of assaulting the then 18-year-old student during her school lunch break on Dec. 15, 2015.

School officials were notified in January of 2016 and Jackson has been barred from school property ever since.

“I was wearing a North Face windbreaker and he unzipped it from top to bottom,” she said, adding he then forced her head down.

During cross-examination, the woman walked the court through the series of events that led to the assault.

She said she didn’t bring lunch that day, so she texted Jackson. Jackson drove her to Burger King and she paid for both meals, ordering a veggie burger and mozzarella sticks for herself and chicken fries for Jackson.

After lunch, they drove around and parked in a vacant area, where Jackson told her to get into the back of the vehicle.

After resisting, he asked her again, this time forcefully.

“He reminded me I was 18, he said he had never done anything like this before and he told me not to tell anybody,” she said.

In the cross-examination, defence attorney Thomas J. Singleton asked her why she got into the back seat in the first place.

In response, Crown attorney Sean McCarroll, said, “there’s a problem when the defence on cross-examination says things like, ‘Why didn’t you fight back? Why didn’t you scream?’”

The trial resumes Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. at Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax.