Judge Rejects Motions for New Trial and Others Filed by John Jackson

Chief District Judge Robert Molloy on Thursday rejected six pro se motions filed by John Jackson, noting that he never told the court he wanted to represent himself pro se and never waived his right to legal counsel. (Source file photo)

The latest attempts by a convicted sex offender to have his 2022 conviction thrown out has been turned down by a federal judge. Chief District Judge Robert Molloy rejected six motions filed by former Olympic boxer John Jackson in an order issued Thursday.

The judge cited the nature of the motions that Jackson filed pro se — meaning by himself, without the representation of his attorney — as the reason for rejection. The defendant was found guilty at the end of a jury trial of producing child pornography, first- and second-degree rape, and transporting minors in order to commit criminal sex acts.

The day the jury delivered its verdict — April 22, 2022 — was the same day defense attorney Yohanna Manning asked to be removed as Jackson’s attorney of record. A new lawyer, Jason Delgato, represented the defendant for sentencing.

Jackson was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Thursday’s order details six pro se motions that Jackson has filed. He asked the court — among other things —  to strike down the jury verdict, to make prosecutors prove the charges contained in the indictment filed against him, and to strike down all requests by the government to reject his pleadings.

Instead, the chief judge granted the government’s motion to reject Jackson’s request for a new trial. He dismissed without prejudice all pro se motions. Molloy also declared as moot the government’s motion for time to respond to Jackson’s six requests.

In the opinion attached to the order, Molloy said the defendant had a right to be represented by counsel or to represent himself without assistance from a lawyer, but he could not have it both ways.

“To date Jackson has not requested to represent himself pro se in this matter or otherwise waive his right to counsel,” the judge said.

Jackson has also appealed his rape and child pornography convictions to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that evidence presented at his trial was insufficient to prove his intent or guilt, the search warrant used to gather evidence from his home was defective, and that authorities violated his Fourth Amendment rights while executing the warrant.