California Homeschooling Instructor Charged With Rape, Sexual Abuse Of 14-Year-Old Boy

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The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office has made an impassioned plea for any other possible victims to come forward after a local teacher was arrested last week after she was accused of assaulting a teenage student under her care.

Krystall Jackson, 39, was arrested on Friday within hours of a phone call made to police reporting the suspected sexual assault of a 14-year-old student in the Kings Canyon Unified School District.

“As of right now, we do not have additional victims but we can’t say for certain whether or not there are additional victims,” Fresno County Sheriff Lt. Brandon Pursell said in a Friday evening press conference broadcast by Fox affiliate KMPH, noting that Jackson had been a long-time educator in a number of schools in the Central Valley area. Pursell encouraged any other possible assault victims to come forward.

Jackson was charged with four counts of rape, one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child — which is defined as three or more acts of abuse over a period of three months or more — one count of oral copulation with a child, one count of communicating with a child with the intent to commit a felony and one count of meeting with a child for lewd purposes. Her bail was set at $365,000, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office. California inmate records reflect that she was bonded out on Saturday.

According to police, Jackson began her career as a teacher in the Kings Canyon Unified School District in 2020, where her role was to supervise students utilizing the district’s independent study program. The 14-year-old boy was enrolled as a homeschool student through the Mountain View Independent School, an Alternative School of Choice in the district. Jackson was reportedly his supervising instructor, authorities said.

California law, while not explicitly authorizing the homeschooling of children, offers parents and students a number of means to attain that end. This includes a system of independent study programs and schools that, as of the 2021 school year, most districts are required to maintain. In those programs, the law specifies that students must receive a certain amount of instruction from, as well as one-on-one interactions with, a certified teacher. This stipulation is depending on the students’ grade level.

Jackson met the student, as she reportedly did with many others, at Dunlap Leadership Academy once weekly, the Fresno Sheriff Lt. Pursell explained. Following the accusation against Jackson, investigators collected evidence from the academy.

“We were able to get some forensic evidence that is corroborating to the statement we are getting,” Pursell added.

Citing the accusor’s right to privacy, Pursell did not release further details about the number of assaults Jackson is alleged to have committed against the boy or where the alleged assaults took place.

While police said they’d not obtained warrants to search Jackson’s home or her digital devices as of Friday, Purcell noted that the evidence obtained from other devices was key in their investigation.

“We take this opportunity to remind parents to be diligent, check your kids’ cell phones, ask them about their days and just be very engaged in their online lives, also,” he added.

The school district issued a statement last week to Central Valley CBS affiliate KGPE noting that the district was cooperating with the investigation and was providing counseling to students, and added that it could not comment on personnel matters.

MEGAN CARPENTIER | Contributed

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