Baton Rouge man accused of holding mirror under stall in woman’s bathroom, deputies say _lowres

Michael Jackson

A Baton Rouge man's 2018 video voyeurism conviction and resulting 80-year prison sentence as a habitual offender may be in jeopardy.

Michael Lee Jackson's case has been sent back to a state appeals court by the Louisiana Supreme Court, which on Friday cited the U.S. Supreme Court's April ruling in a New Orleans case outlawing split-jury verdicts in criminal cases.

Jackson, 63, was found guilty by an 11-1 vote.

The U.S. Supreme Court's April ruling in a New Orleans case applies to all future trials, and to inmates who were convicted by divided juries and haven't exhausted their appeals.

Jackson was arrested in June 2016 and accused of sticking a mirror and cellphone under a stall in a women's restroom at a Corporate Boulevard restaurant.

He was a registered sex offender at the time, with a history of video voyeurism and obscenity convictions.

When Jackson held a mirror under a stall and moved his phone toward the mirror as if to take photos, the woman in the stall ran out of the restroom screaming, an East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office report stated.

Jackson followed the woman into the restaurant and was tackled and detained by two diners, who held the man until deputies arrived, the report said.

Jackson told deputies he wasn’t sure which restroom he had gone into, so he used the mirror “to look underneath the stall next to him so he could verify if it was a male or female,” according to the report.

After he was convicted of video voyeurism in 2018, the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney's Office sought to have Jackson sentenced as a habitual offender.

He has been in and out of prison since the early 1980s.

Prosecutors said Jackson has convictions for purse snatching and possession of contraband in a penal institution in 1982; simple escape and felony theft in 1988; simple burglary in 1991; obscenity in 2001; video voyeurism in 2010; and obscenity in 2014.

He was on parole supervision at the time of his June 2016 video voyeurism arrest.

When Jackson was convicted on that charge in March 2018, Louisiana law did not require unanimous jury verdicts. Only 10 of 12 jurors had to concur for a valid verdict. He was sentenced in July 2018.

A constitutional amendment approved by Louisiana voters in November 2018 did away with nonunanimous jury verdicts but applies only to crimes that occurred on or after Jan. 1, 2019.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling earlier this year in the New Orleans case of Evangelisto Ramos applies to not only all future trials, but also inmates who were found guilty by nonunanimous juries and still have appeals remaining.


Email Joe Gyan Jr. at jgyan@theadvocate.com.