Sex offender pleads guilty to filing false suit against child molestation victim

A D.C. man pleaded guilty Tuesday to filing a fraudulent $3 million defamation lawsuit against an Ohio resident whom he had molested a decade ago.

David Copeland-Jackson, 37, was convicted in 2000 of molesting two boys in Ohio and was on parole when he filed a defamation lawsuit in 2007 against one of them.

Filing fraudulent court papers and forging the victim's signature, Copeland-Jackson never disclosed his conviction while claiming that the boy had made "false comments to third parties that [Copeland-Jackson] engaged in certain homosexual activities" with him.

A federal court judgment stood for one day before the victim - who was 14 at the time of the initial crime - was notified of the decision and alerted authorities, leading to Copeland-Jackson's arrest in July 2009.

Copeland-Jackson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice and perjury and to one count of mail fraud in an unrelated scheme involving $62,000 in student financial aid, U.S. Attorney for the District Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

The charges carry up to five years and 20 years, respectively, in prison, although in a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to seek a term of 51 to 63 months, prosecutors said. U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon set sentencing for May 12.

Spencer S. Hsu is an investigative reporter, two-time Pulitzer finalist and national Emmy award nominee.

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