Family members and current and former Hoover High students showed up to court Friday in support of an instructor accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl at the school.
Prosecutors have filed four felony counts against Delvon Jackson, 38, accusing him of assaulting the girl on three separate occasions on the school grounds earlier this month.
He is in custody in lieu of $1-million bail. An arraignment, originally scheduled for Friday, was postponed until Monday. A bail hearing is also scheduled for that day.
Among those at the Glendale courthouse was 17-year-old Narek Hakobyan, who left school early to attend. Narek said he first met Jackson when he was a sophomore and Jackson was an instructor in the regional occupation program.
Now a senior, Narek said students on the campus respected Jackson, and were "shocked" to hear he'd been arrested.
"I got his back and so does everybody else," Narek said. "Everybody at school is shocked.... We all respect him … he passes by, everybody says 'hi,' shakes his hand."
Former Hoover High student Shadi Abdelhadi, 18, who also appeared in court on Friday to support Jackson, said his former instructor was an engaging teacher who made learning fun and "not boring."
"If this was on a Saturday, I'll tell you, this would be packed [with students]." But on Friday, he said, many students remained in school.
Jackson appeared in court via a video camera from Glendale City Jail.
Deputy Public Defender Cynthia Vargas requested the arraignment be postponed because Jackson's family had hired their own attorney.
Jackson's wife, Veronica Jackson, who was one of several family members to appear in court on Friday, and who said she believes her husband is innocent, said she was pleased the arraignment was postponed.
"I am focusing on my husband's integrity and his character [and that they] will not be in vain … in this situation," she said on Friday.
At Hoover High, Jackson worked as an instructor through the Los Angeles County Regional Occupation Program in the school's Public Safety Academy. The three-year program prepares students interested in embarking on careers in law enforcement or fire service.
Jackson reportedly told students and staff at Hoover that he served as a former officer with the Inglewood Police Department, although those statements were untrue, according to Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz. He said Jackson worked as a part-time parking control employee for the city of Inglewood instead.
Abdelhadi, the former student, said, "Regardless if he did lie, he still did a good job."
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