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In re Civil Commitment of Jackson

March 25, 2003


Hennepin County District Court File No. Poo1060382

Considered and decided by Peterson, Presiding Judge, Shumaker, Judge, and Forsberg, Judge.*fn1


It is within a district court's discretion to permit a court-appointed examiner to testify whether the person for whom commitment is sought meets the statutory criteria for commitment as a sexually dangerous person.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Peterson, Judge



Appellant challenges his commitment as a sexually dangerous person, arguing that the district court abused its discretion when it based its finding that appellant engaged in a course of harmful sexual conduct on (1) recanted evidence; (2) evidence that the prosecutor deemed to be not credible; and (3) dismissed criminal charges. Appellant also argues that the district court abdicated its responsibility to interpret and apply the law when it permitted the court-appointed examiners to testify that he met the statutory criteria for commitment. We affirm.


The state petitioned to commit appellant Terry Ray Jackson as a sexual psychopathic personality and as a sexually dangerous person based on a course of conduct that began almost 20 years ago and includes multiple criminal-sexual-conduct convictions.

In 1984, Jackson lured two girls, ages 13 and 14, into his apartment and sexually assaulted them. Jackson was 20 years old at the time. The victims, C.L. and D.W., were runaways who met Jackson on the street. Jackson was initially pleasant and friendly and invited the girls to his apartment. Once inside the apartment, Jackson immediately became demanding and sexually aggressive. He threatened to strike the girls with a large brass statue unless they performed sexual acts. During repeated sexual assaults, Jackson continued to threaten that he would hurt the girls if they did not do what he told them to do. He forced the girls to perform oral sex multiple times, attempted anal intercourse with D.W. several times, ordered the girls to engage in sexual contact with each other, and repeatedly forced vaginal intercourse on D.W. C.L. eventually escaped and called police. When the police arrived, both girls were hysterical and traumatized. They were taken to the hospital by ambulance.

A jury found Jackson guilty of first- and third-degree criminal sexual conduct, and in February 1985, he was sentenced to 43 months in prison. Jackson admitted to sexual conduct, but he claimed that the girls approached him seeking to exchange sex for money, and after he refused to pay them, they accused him of rape. In a 1992 psychological evaluation, Jackson admitted that his sexual contact with C.L. may not have been as consensual as he first assumed and attributed his criminal problems to substance and alcohol abuse.

Jackson was released from prison in January 1987, subject to conditions of supervised release. In February 1988, he was convicted of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Also in 1988, he was convicted of simple robbery following a purse-snatching incident in which he threatened the victim with a meat cleaver. He was also arrested several times for domestic assault and disorderly conduct.

In June 1988, Jackson was arrested for sexually assaulting P.J., a 36-year-old woman. Jackson and another man met P.J. on the street and persuaded her to come to Jackson's apartment. Once at the apartment, the men ordered P.J. to take off her clothes and perform oral sex on both of them. When she did not comply fast enough, Jackson beat her on the head with his fists. Jackson hit, kicked, and choked P.J. and repeatedly threatened to kill her. At one point, he struck her in the head with a telephone and ordered her to lick the blood off her face. He forced her to perform oral sex numerous times during a four-hour period and beat her when she was not "doing it right." He forced vaginal intercourse, attempted anal intercourse, and digitally penetrated P.J.'s rectum. She tried to escape several times, but each time Jackson caught her and beat her. He spilled beer on his chest and made her lick it off, and then he urinated on her face. When Jackson went into the bathroom, P.J. fled, but Jackson caught her. While she kicked and screamed for help, he dragged her and tried to ram her head into a building and against a car and threatened to kill her. When the police arrived, they saw Jackson standing over P.J., who was kneeling on the ground.

Jackson was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, but the charge was dismissed after P.J. failed to appear to testify at trial. The matter was charged again in 1992 after P.J. was located and Jackson was arrested on another criminal-sexual-conduct charge stemming from an incident that occurred in 1991. P.J. was scheduled to testify at the trial on the new charges, but became upset when Jackson's mother visited her to ask her to change her testimony against Jackson. Eventually, the case involving P.J. was dismissed because the statute of limitations had expired before the case was charged the second time. Jackson claimed that his sexual contact with P.J. was consensual and that he beat her only because he was drunk, high on cocaine, and believed that she was trying to steal from him.

In September 1991, Jackson sexually assaulted N.M., a 26-year-old woman. Jackson approached N.M. as she left a bar in Minneapolis around midnight. N.M. was intoxicated and upset after arguing with her boyfriend. She accepted Jackson's invitation to come to his house for a drink. Once inside his house, Jackson became sexually aggressive and tried to take off N.M.'s clothes. When she resisted, Jackson struck her several times with his fist, choked her, and pulled her hair. While holding onto N.M., Jackson removed his pants and masturbated. He then removed her pants and forced his fingers into her vagina. Jackson also threatened to kill N.M. She could not escape because he had locked the door from the inside. Around 4:30 a.m., Jackson unlocked the door and let N.M. out. She ran into a newspaper delivery person who helped her call the police. The delivery person's statement indicated that N.M. was bleeding profusely about her face with blood dripping on the sidewalk. When the police arrived, N.M.'s face was swollen, and she had dried blood on her lips. N.M. suffered numerous injuries, including two black eyes, a bloody nose, choke marks on her neck, and bruises, cuts, and scratches on her arms and legs.

Jackson was charged with first- and third-degree criminal sexual conduct. The charges were eventually dismissed because the prosecutor believed that N.M.'s credibility at trial would be undercut due to her level of intoxication at the time of the assault and her admission that she tampered with evidence when, after realizing that she had inadvertently laundered the shirt she was wearing when she was assaulted, she cut her finger and dabbed her blood on the shirt.

At the commitment hearing, Jackson denied having any sexual contact with N.M. He claimed that her story was incredible because he could have easily subdued her if he wanted to due to her relatively small stature and his strength and that N.M. left his home shortly after arriving because she referred to him as a "nigger," and he asked her to leave.

In June 1992, Jackson attacked M.H., a 44-year-old woman with a mental disorder. Jackson approached M.H. in the early morning hours as she was walking home and invited her to his home to drink alcohol and smoke crack. M.H. agreed to have a drink. Twenty minutes after arriving at his house, Jackson became sexually aggressive and threatening. He hit M.H. in the head with his fist several times and bit her on her neck. Because the door was locked from the inside, M.H. could not escape. M.H. fought back, using a frying pan and a drapery rod. Eventually, when Jackson could not control M.H., he called 911 and told the operator that there was a crazy woman in his house. The sounds of struggling and M.H. yelling "date rape" can be heard on the tape of the 911 call. Soon after making the 911 call, Jackson opened the door and let M.H. out. M.H. went to a neighboring house, and the neighbor called 911. The neighbor described M.H. as nervous, frightened, crying, and disheveled. The neighbor said that M.H. showed her the injuries on her neck and told her that she was almost raped. M.H. suffered injuries with bruising on her neck, legs, arms, and forehead. A jury convicted Jackson of attempted first-degree criminal sexual conduct for his assault of M.H., and he was sentenced to 150 months in prison.

Jackson denied that he attempted to rape M.H. but admitted assaulting her after she went "crazy." Jackson claimed that he and M.H. went to his house to smoke crack, and when he complained about the quality, she "went crazy" and assaulted him. He referred to his 911 call as proof that M.H. victimized him.

Jackson asserts that his habitual alcohol and cocaine use account for all of the difficulties in his life, and he believes himself to be the victim of racial inequities of the legal system. During psychological evaluations, Jackson admitted that his use of alcohol renders him powerless and that he is easily overcome by temptation. Jackson was offered chemical-dependency treatment numerous times, but each time he either resisted treatment or his disciplinary violations interfered with treatment. Jackson has not entered or completed any sex-offender treatment programs, though he has been ...

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