Local dentist cleared of abuse charges

By Terri Flagg - tflagg@civitasmedia.com

DOBSON — The case against a Mount Airy dentist accused of child abuse was dismissed Tuesday in Surry County District Court.

Dr. Thomas Richard “Tom” Jackson, 66, of Sheep Farm Road, had been arrested in October and charged with three counts each of misdemeanor child abuse and misdemeanor assault on a child under 12.

According to testimony heard during the trial, the allegations stemmed from incidents involving acts of discipline that occurred in August.

The two children took the stand Tuesday afternoon, as did their mother, Crystal Marie Jackson, and investigating officer Det. Ashley Doiel of the Surry County Sheriff’s Office.

Defense attorney Gretchen Kirkman moved to dismiss after Assistant District Attorney Jerrell McGee concluded presenting the state’s evidence.

“There’s no law you can’t discipline your children,” Kirkman said. “We have to discipline our children. Right now, at this age, we have to teach them right from wrong.”

Arguing against the dismissal, McGee said, “The state would contend, no, there’s no law against disciplining your children, there has to be a line somewhere.”

“We would contend the line would be crossed here.”

Presiding Judge Charles M. Neaves stated that because of the testimony of the children, “I’m going to have to grant this motion. Thank you very much.”

Jackson had stated in October media reports that “The whole thing is bogus,” and said the allegations were fabricated by his estranged wife in retaliation for him leaving her.

“I would never think of abusing my children or anybody else’s,” he said.

Commenting after the trial Tuesday, he said, “It was all bogus, obviously, the court threw it out.”

“I’m a good father,” he said, noting that his four grown children, all successful and happy, are proof of it.

“It’s the most hurtful thing ever to happen,” he said of the allegations.

“I’m glad it’s over.”

By Terri Flagg


Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.

Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.

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