ITHACA, N.Y. — An Ithaca man who raped and impregnated a girl younger than 12 in the summer of 2014 was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Wednesday.

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Abdur-Rashid Jackson, who was 30 at the time of the crime, pleaded guilty to attempted rape in the first degree, a felony. After his time in prison, Jackson will be supervised for 15 years. An order of protection for the victim has also been enacted.

The victim attended the sentencing and said, “Since Abdur-Rashid Jackson has been arrested, my life has been upside down. Each day [my family and I] try to move on and make each day better than the last one.”

Jackson declined to address the court.

Wendy Franklin, the assistant district attorney, praised the victim as “one extremely powerful and strong young girl. I hope beyond all hope that she is able to put this behind her.”

Jackson

Jackson has claimed that he did not recall the rape and has suffered from blackouts throughout his life. According to the pre-sentence investigation, he also still maintains that a teenage boy impregnated the victim, despite DNA evidence.

Franklin was not sympathetic. She said that Jackson’s defense is “often the claim of people who sexually abuse children” and that he is deep in denial.

“He can’t hide anymore,” said Franklin. “He is known. He will never be able to hide in the shadows.”

The judge in the case, John Rowley, said that while “science does make [this case] easy, the realities are much more complicated.” He praised the victim’s bravery for making a statement in court.

As for the defendant’s claims, Rowley said they were outrageous and “offensive to the community.”

“There is no lack of memory,” said Rowley, “only a lack of responsibility.”

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Victims of sexual abuse should call the Tompkins County Advocacy Center at 277-5000, according to Tiffany Greco, of the advocacy center.

“It’s important for the public to hold people who sexually abuse children accountable for their actions.  Doing so moves us closer towards creating a community that is safe for all of our children,” Greco says.

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs is an intern with the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at nbogel@ithacavoice.com.