CLEVELAND — Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s grandson went to trial Monday facing serious charges that he abducted and brutally beat a woman last summer. He was facing up to eight years in prison if convicted of several felony charges.
During the trial, the victim of the assault insisted Frank Q. Jackson punched and choked her, but admitted that that she also struck him and held onto his leg, preventing him from leaving.
During a trial lunchbreak Wednesday, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley's office and defense attorneys reached a deal that included dropping the abduction charge in exchange for a guilty plea to misdemeanor assault.
Frank Q. Jackson received 18 months of probation.
His attorneys complained that prosecutors overreached and were driven by public pressure.
"This is a terrible case that would have never been brought were it not for who his grandfather is,” Jeffrey Saffold told reporters after the trial. “It's a shame we had to go through all of this.”
He said Jackson’s grandson accepts responsibility and added,"This was two people involved in assaultive behavior."
Prosecutors defended their case.
"We charged based on the evidence that was before us at the time," said Diane Russell, who heads the prosecutor's office criminal division.
But testimony made them re-examine the charges.
"We were concerned that based on the testimony, we could not meet the elements of felonious assault," Russell said. "We felt this is a fair and equitable resolution to this case and we are happy that Mr. Jackson took responsibility for his actions in this case."
Russell said the victim is satisfied and was consulted before the prosecutor’s office struck a deal.
The case drew a lot of scrutiny because the City of Cleveland’s prosecutor declined to pursue any charges following the June 10 incident, which led the county prosecutor to pick up the case.
Jackson, who was in the courtroom today, has long denied his grandson received any special treatment from the city. When asked if the outcome was vindication, he kept on walking.
“I’m happy for my grandson,” he said.