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

February 8, 2011

A District man pleaded guilty Tuesday to filing a fraudulent $3 million defamation lawsuit against an Ohio resident who 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 those victims.

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 with prosecutors both sides agreed to seek a term of 51 to 63 months, prosecutors said. U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon of the District 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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