CLINTON—Cassen Jackson-Garrison, a former police officer and professional football player, has agreed to plead guilty to statutory rape and official misconduct, and he will be sentenced to two years of supervised probation, officials said this week.
Jackson-Garrison, 32, had a plea agreement hearing in Anderson County Criminal Court in Clinton on Monday. He is a former Oak Ridge Police Department officer who once played football for Vanderbilt University and the Kansas City Chiefs.
As part of the plea agreement, the original indicted charge of aggravated statutory rape, a Class D felony, was reduced to statutory rape, a Class E felony. The original aggravated charge said Jackson-Garrison was at least 10 years older than the female victim, who was 16 at the time. The indicted charge of official misconduct, also a Class E felony, remains unchanged.
There were inappropriate text messages between the victim and Jackson-Garrison, Anderson County Deputy District Attorney General Tony Craighead said during the plea agreement hearing on Monday. And Jackson-Garrison’s patrol car was parked at the girl’s home.
But Craighead told Criminal Court Judge Don Elledge that the victim has been uncooperative.
The recommended sentence for Jackson-Garrison on each of the two charges is two years, with the sentences to be suspended on probation and to run concurrently. That means the sentences will be served at the same time, rather than consecutively.
Jackson-Garrison was indicted May 3, 2016.
Represented by Knoxville attorney Gregory Isaacs, Jackson-Garrison has a sentencing hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. August 1 in Anderson County Criminal Court in Clinton. During that hearing, he will ask for judicial diversion, which the state is opposing. If approved by the court, judicial diversion would remove the felony charges from his record at the end of his probationary period.
He will not be placed on the sex offender registry. Tennessee law says the trial judge “may order” a defendant to register as a sex offender based on his discretion after reviewing the facts, according to a partial sentencing waiver filed in Anderson County Criminal Court. The state has agreed that Jackson-Garrison is not an appropriate candidate for the sex offender registry, the sentencing waiver said.
However, as part of his plea, Jackson-Garrison will surrender his P.O.S.T. (Peace Officer Standards Training) certification. The P.O.S.T. Commission develops and enforces standards and training for all local police officers in Tennessee, and it promotes continuing law enforcement training for full-time officers. It’s the primary regulatory body for Tennessee law enforcement.
“Cassen Jackson-Garrison has accepted responsibility for the allegations,” Isaacs said Wednesday. “He is an individual that is committed to his family and his community, and looks forward to having this matter resolved in the very near future.”
The case was investigated by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at the request of Seventh District Attorney General Dave Clark. The investigation began August 13, 2015, on a complaint that Jackson-Garrison was having sexual contact with a juvenile. Jackson-Garrison was terminated from his employment with the Oak Ridge Police Department in August 2015. Authorities announced then that he would be prosecuted.
Jackson-Garrison is also a former probationary officer with the Knoxville Police Department, but he resigned on January 28, 2011, for unspecified personal reasons.
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More information will be added as it becomes available.
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