Six brothers remain in a North Carolina jail after being arrested for allegedly molesting a young girl for nearly a decade.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that the men — 27-year-old Eric Jackson and his five brothers, Jon, 25; Matthew, 23; Nathaniel, 21; Benjamin, 19; and Aaron, 18 — were arrested last week on charges ranging from statutory rape to sexual assault and rape of the alleged victim, who is now 16.
Perquimans County Sheriff Eric Tilley said the alleged attacks occurred from the time the girl was 4 until she was about 14. Court records show the abuse occurred from January 2003 through December 2012.
The men’s parents, John Jackson, 65, and Nita Jackson, 54, were also charged with felony child abuse. Tilley said they were charged because they were aware of the abuse and failed to take action.
Tilley told the newspaper that one of the brothers came forward in December 2012 to confess the crime after speaking with a pastor. He declined to identify which brother, but a church elder told the newspaper that Eric Jackson agreed to confess because he needed to “walk in the light” by informing authorities.
“He sinned seriously,” Hope Baptist Church Elder Dan Horn told the newspaper. “It was an evil that needed to be exposed.”
The brothers remain jailed under secured bonds of up to $150,000. It’s unclear whether they have retained attorneys.
When word spread of the investigation, the family moved to Colorado, Tilley told the newspaper, adding that they agreed to return to North Carolina rather than await extradition.
Neighbor Curtis Trueblood told the newspaper that the family was a “secretive bunch” who largely kept to themselves. He said all of the children were homeschooled and it was unclear how the family provided for themselves.