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Jacksonville man pleads guilty to charges of sexual activity with minor

Gernain Jackson could spend life in prison

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville man pleaded guilty Friday to charges of sexual activity with a minor, officials said.

U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III announced that Gernain Jackson, 33, from Duval County, pleaded guilty to enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity. Jackson faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and could receive up to life.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled for Sept. 28 before U.S. District Judge Paul G. Byron. 

According to court records, from August 2015, to about September 2015, Jackson engaged a 13-year-old boy from Orlando in chats over Facebook, Kik messenger, Skype and the telephone, through which Jackson enticed the minor to produce child pornography.

Through the online contact, Jackson enticed the boy to send him sexually explicit images. On or around Sept. 6 and 13, Jackson met the boy in person while attending church functions in Jacksonville. During that time, Jackson met him in the bathroom several times throughout the day and molested him. 

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Jackson’s case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.