Former Sumner Basketball Coach Jacob Jackson Pleads Not Guilty Against Rape Charges


Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times

Ex-Sumner High School Basketball Coach Jacob Jackson Pleads Not Guilty Against Rape Charges

Brookelle Barnes, Editor/Reporter

On Thursday, May 11th, former Sumner basketball coach Jacob Jackson pleaded not guilty after being charged with 10 felony charges of third-degree child rape and molestation, first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor, five counts of communication with a minor for immoral purposes, and a misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure. Jackson’s bail was set as $25,000 as of Thursday and is no longer in custody, but electronic home monitoring was enforced.

Investigation first opened in August of 2022 against Jackson and since then, multiple parents and students have come forward to share their stories about Jackson’s unprofessional and inappropriate conversations. These confessions brought up multiple different scenarios in which Jackson was physically touching players in his home, asking them for inappropriate photos, sending explicit messages, as well as sending his own inappropriate photos to his players. Since these messages and photos were mainly sent via Snapchat, most could not be recovered; the truth was revealed through a series of social media messages that were backed-up through seven search warrants and Jackson’s conversations with a player.

The courtroom was full of players and parents defending the children, many parents believed that Jackson should’ve been arrested a long time ago. Jackson was hired as the Sumner basketball coach in 2016 and soon after began to face complaints from parents about Jackson’s close contact with players in 2018 and 2020, although these allegations failed to get him removed. Jackson’s next court showing is set to be in June and if Jackson is convicted for this, he could face up to 5 years in prison per each individual charge.

It is important to note that teachers and coaches play a significant role in these children’s lives, coaches arguably have more open-ended chances for communication with their players outside of the school setting. As someone who has been around a high school athletic environment my whole life, these situations are discouraging for the future of high school sports, especially since these cases were addressed multiple times over the years and seemingly swept under the rug. Although the Sumner-Bonney Lake school district played Jackson on administrative leave after allegations sparked, I believe something could have been done earlier throughout 2019-2021 to prevent Jackon’s acts towards these children.