A law clerk for a federal judge who was a standout student at Tulane Law is fighting charges that he tried to solicit sex with a 10-year-old boy using the gay hookup app Grindr, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
Thomas H. Jackson IV pleaded not guilty Friday to computer solicitation of a minor younger than 13 and aggravated attempted rape after he was arrested last week as part of an FBI sting operation.
The 32-year-old lawyer’s troubles began when he allegedly offered another Grindr user $US500 if he could arrange a sex date with a boy younger than 11. That other user then went to the FBI, and a federal agent assumed the other user’s Grindr alias. The undercover told Jackson on Grindr he’d arrange a date with a 10-year-old boy, according to court documents cited by the Picayune.
“Hook it up!! :)” Jackson allegedly replied.
His lawyer, Frank DeSalvo, told the Times-Picayune that the attempted aggravated rape charge is “inappropriate” given the allegations in the case.
The Times-Picayune reported that Jackson’s employment with federal judge Susie Morgan “ended” on Thursday but did not specify whether he’d been fired or whether his clerkship was simply over.
Jackson had an exceptional tenure as a law student, according to a glowing 2008 profile in the Tulane Lawyer called “Genius In Good Company.” From that profile:
Call T. Haller Jackson IV (L ’08) a triple threat. Jackson graduated last May with a perfect 4.0 GPA, the highest in the history of Tulane Law School since it introduced the current grading system in the 1960s. As if that weren’t enough, he set a second school record by earning the asterisk in fourteen classes including Federal Courts, First Amendment, Constitutional Law, and Constitutional Criminal Procedure. And he did it all while finishing his PhD in infectious disease epidemiology, focusing on HIV.
Hard to believe this powerhouse squeezed in time to serve as editor in chief of the Tulane Law Review, an editor of Law and Sexuality, and vice president of Tulane’s Lambda Law Alliance. The 26-year-old Shreveport native took home honours in Trial Advocacy, won the Moot Court Senior Appellate competition, and received recognition for his pro bono work. All told, he graduated with 28 awards and honours.
After graduation, Jackson went on to do four judicial clerkships, including the one with Judge Morgan, Above the Law reports. One unnamed source told that blog, that Jackson “hoped for a SCOTUS [Supreme Court] clerkship and was bitterly disappointed when he didn’t get one.”
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