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Archive for Thursday, September 28, 1995

TENURED KU PROF ESCAPES JAIL TERM

September 28, 1995

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A KU faculty member faced a judge again for stalking his former therapist.

A Kansas University faculty member Wednesday escaped a jail sentence despite violating a court order that he quit stalking a Lawrence woman.

Hobart Jackson Jr., tenured associate professor of architecture and urban design, was arrested in May for failure to abide by provisions of a community corrections program designed to keep him from stalking his former therapist.

Douglas County District Judge Michael Malone decided during a hearing to intensify Jackson's corrections program rather than send him to jail.

Absent evidence Jackson had stalked the woman since June, the judge instructed the defendant to immediately surrender a memorabilia collection related to the victim. A search warrant may be issued to determine Jackson's compliance with that edict.

In addition, Jackson must cease walking on a Lawrence street the defendant knows the victim travels frequently.

Malone warned Jackson not to slip up again.

"If I hear you do, I'll put you in jail," Malone said.

Jackson could face a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The victim, who asked not to be identified, said Jackson had stalked her for two years. Jackson was found guilty of misdemeanor stalking in July 1994. He was placed in the county's community corrections program for two years, ordered not to have contact with the woman and to seek therapy.

However, Jackson violated the court's directive by staking out the victim's house from a car in March. One month later, the victim's caller ID showed a hang-up call was placed to her residence from Jackson's faculty office at KU.

Jackson was arrested in May for violating rehabilitation guidelines. In June, Jackson stipulated in court he had disobeyed court instructions.

He's been on medical leave from KU since the Journal-World reported his stalking in August. In an interview, Jackson said he might return to KU in January.

At Wednesday's hearing, Assistant Dist. Atty. Christine ....../Tonkovich said the victim chose not to attend the proceeding. Jane Eldredge, the victim's attorney, declined to discuss why her client didn't appear in court.

Speaking on the victim's behalf, Tonkovich said: "She does feel that she is in danger as a result of Mr. Jackson."

Jackson's lawyer, John Chappell, said Jackson was receiving extensive therapy for his "mental illness" -- a condition that caused him to unintentionally disregard court instructions to leave the victim alone.

Chappell insisted Jackson wouldn't benefit from incarceration.

"He acknowledges this illness (and) wants to overcome it," he said. "The victim is not in physical danger from the defendant."

Sebastian Bonner, Douglas County adult intensive supervision probation officer, recommended to Malone that Jackson not be jailed.

No witnesses were called at the hearing because Tonkovich and Chappell concurred with Bonner's recommendation.

Bonner said he found no evidence Jackson was continuing to stalk the victim.

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