A public safety instructor pleaded not guilty Monday to multiple charges allegedly that he sexually assaulted a 14-year-old Hoover High School student.
More than a dozen family members and students appeared in a Glendale courtroom to support Delvon Jackson, 38, of Carson as he faced three felony counts of lewd acts upon a child and one count of sexual penetration with a foreign object.
They stood up during Jackson’s arraignment to show their support after his attorney Winston McKesson asked them to do so.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Frederick Rotenberg reduced Jackson’s bail from $1 million to $400,000 after reviewing the amount originally set by a bail hearing officer. Prosecutors had recommended bail be set at $400,000.
Jackson and the girl reportedly engaged in sexual acts three times between Oct. 1 and 14 on the campus in the 600 block of Glenwood Road.
Jackson was an instructor with the Los Angeles County Regional Occupational Program, who was contracted to work in the school’s Public Safety Academy.
He was the lead police instructor at the academy, which is a three-year program that coaches teens interested in careers in fire service or law enforcement.
The girl told school staff about Jackson on Oct. 15, which prompted a police investigation into the allegations. School administrators responded to the girl’s claims by removing Jackson from having any contact with students.
The next day, Jackson was arrested at the Glendale Unified School District offices.
Jackson’s wife, Veronica Jackson, , said she was concerned about the girl and what prompted her allegations against her husband.
“It makes me want to further look into her house[hold],” she said. “We want to investigate the intent of her allegations.”
Police said Jackson reportedly told students and staff that he was an officer with the Inglewood Police Department. However, police said he has never worked as an officer.
He reportedly worked as a part-time parking control employee with Inglewood, police said.
Still, Asbed Mardirossian, 17, who attended Monday’s hearing, said Jackson was “like a father figure on campus.”
Other students described Jackson as a “good role model.”
High school students previously also showed up on Friday to support Jackson during his initial court appearance.
The student support is not uncommon, Veronica Jackson said.
“We are a strong, tight-knit family,” she said.
If Jackson is convicted of the alleged lewd acts, he could be sentenced up to five years in state prison.
-- Veronica Rocha, firstname.lastname@example.org