An Oxford man accused of sexually assaulting two Miami University students in his vehicle that serves as taxi service was back in court Thursday for a brief hearing
W. Sherman Jackson II, the owner and operator of Sherman’s Safe Ride, is charged with three counts of rape and three counts of sexual battery involving two women. He pleaded not guilty of all charges and is free on bond.
Defense attorney Chris Pagan filed two motions, for evidence seized from Jackson’s car to be suppressed and for the charges against him to be severed. On Thursday, Judge Keith Spaeth set March 1 as the hearing date on those motions.
Two women filed separate reports with police accusing Jackson, 38, of the 5200 block of College Corner Pike, of sexually assaulting them in his vehicle, according to Oxford police. The incidents were reported on Dec. 8 and 9.
The first alleged victim called 911 at about 12:35 a.m. on Dec. 8 from West Collins Street and reported she had been assaulted, according to the police report.
Pagan said in the motion that Jackson should receive two trials pertaining to charges in alleged crimes involving each victim, because a jury could be prejudged by hearing evidence about one incident when weighing a verdict in the other incident.
“While it might be convenient for the state to try all charges against Jackson in a single trial, convenience does not overcome his right to a fair trial. Other acts evidence would impermissibly find its way to the record if multiple complaining witnesses testify against Jackson in a single trial and thus create substantial risk of prejudice,” Pagan wrote in the motion.
Pagan also argued in a second motion that physical evidence taken by police was seized from Jackson’s Suburban without a warrant prior to his arrest and should not be permitted at trial.
Jackson is free on bond, but that was challenged last month when prosecutors filed a motion indicating he may have violated the terms of his release. Spaeth found that he had not violated the terms of his bond but placed additional restrictions on his release, including requiring Jackson to be on house arrest at his parents’ home.
Jackson’s trial is set for April 30.