A Waterford man scheduled to go on trial this morning for rape made a last-minute plea to avoid facing a Saratoga County Court jury.
Zachary A. Jackson, 31, agreed to a plea deal before jury selection was about to begin Monday morning.
“I was surprised because all along his position has been that he didn’t do anything,” Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Jensen said.
Jackson was arrested in May after a woman being treated at a local hospital reported she was attacked, according to police.
He was later indicted by a Saratoga County grand jury on two counts of first-degree rape, two of first-degree sexual abuse, second-degree assault, sexual misconduct, forcible touching and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of sexual misconduct and endangering the welfare of a child as well as a felony charge of failure to report an address change.
Jensen said the victim, who was 22 when she reported the attack, was reluctant to testify in court and the plea deal assures she will not have to face Jackson.
Two weeks ago, Jensen asked to have Jackson’s $10,000 bail revoked and to have him wait for the trial in a jail cell.
She said he had been free since shortly after his arrest in May, but he had recently been arrested for petty larceny and failure to register his new address with police.
Jackson is a Level 3 predicate sex offender and served 15 months in an Oregon jail, according to the New York state sex offender registry.
Jensen told County Judge Jerry Scarano on March 12 that because Jackson could face 10 or more years in prison if convicted she thought there was a risk he would flee before the trial. Scarano agreed and revoked the bail.
Jackson is expected to be sentenced to 11⁄3 to 4 years in prison when he appears before Scarano on May 24.
Police said Jackson was arrested twice within six hours last May. He was charged with endangering the welfare of a child shortly after midnight after he was found drunk and sitting on the wall of Erie Canal Lock 2 with his child and stepchild, who were 2 and 8 years old.
Shortly after 6 a.m. that day he was charged with the sexual assault after the woman reported she had been raped.