A Ventura County, California judge sentenced ex-UFC welterweight and “The Ultimate Fighter 4” member Jeremy Jackson to 25 years to life for sexual assault. Jackson, 28, would plead guilty in 2010 for charges stating he had raped his ex-girlfriend during an attempted burglary. Jackson was arrested in June of 2008 and charged with seven felony charges, two of those counts were forcible rape. Jackson has remained in a Ventura County jail since his arrest.
According to a report released on February 14th, 2011 by the “Ventura County Star,” Jackson pleaded guilty to the charges against him disregarding the advice of his lawyers after a three-week trial. “He just got broken down,” Jackson’s lawyer Russell Baker told the “Ventura County Star”.
The Ventura County Star report also included that a female juror asked if she was allowed to make a statement during Jackson’s sentencing but the notion was denied by the judge. After the hearing the juror told the newspaper that she feels Jackson is innocent and plead guilty only to end the trial and get this behind him. “I really felt the defendant was innocent,” she said. Ventura county prosecutor Thomas Dunlevy said Jackson could have faced a sentence of 60 years to life in prison and cited ample evidence to convict Jackson of his crimes, including surveillance footage and a recorded call between Jackson and his ex-girlfriend in which the ex-UFC fighter admits to planning the rape.
Jeremy Jackson’s appearance on “the Ultimate Fighter 4,” which was a special “Comeback” season for the reality series that featured ex-UFC fighters, was short-lived as UFC President Dana White booted him off the show after Jackson violated rules by leaving the fighter house to meet a woman. He was invited back however, to fight on the season finale. In that bout Jackson suffered a neck injury in his submission loss to Pete Spratt. Since that loss in November 2006, Jackson (9-5) has fought only once since a win at a Total Combat match in March 2007.
This news is tragic as we try our hardest to expand the sport of mixed martial arts, only to take shots like these along the way. This is another “black cloud” on the sport of mixed martial arts although it wasn’t the most popular fighter around.