Gerald Jackson, a New Bern man who operates social media sites for a living, told the Rhino Times that a 20-year-old black male who often did odd jobs for the now deceased Rev. T. Anthony Spearman, contacted him, Jackson, and told him that Spearman had sexually assaulted him in Spearman’s home.
The name of 20-year-old Jayden Hawthorne surfaced later in police reports regarding the series of confrontations between Spearman and Hawthorne.
Spearman, the former head of the NC NAACP and a member of the Guilford County Board of Elections, was found dead at his home in what one 911 caller said was an extremely bloody scene.
According to the account that Jackson stated that the victim provided him, the victim, a straight black male, captured part of the sexual assault on his phone and threatened to make the video public – which, Jackson said, ultimately led to what appears to be Spearman’s suicide in the week following the alleged sexual assault.
Jackson, who has a criminal record including school bomb threats as a youth and who has served prison time for attempted extortion of an Onslow County attorney, said that, while he had a troubled youth and has made mistakes in his past, he is now merely interested in exposing wrongdoing among public officials. He also said he had faced unfair prosecution because, during his eight years running an internet news site, he had exposed the wrongdoing of powerful people in the eastern part of the state.
“I’m just a blogger shedding light on injustices,” Jackson told the Rhino Times this week.
Before the series of events that led to Spearman’s death, Jackson, who runs the NC Beat website and several social media sites, posted stories with documentation that purported to show financial and other misdealings of Spearman in his capacity as the former president of the North Carolina NAACP.
Jackson said, after that story ran, the victim reached out to him to reveal his story – some of which Jackson posted on his website.
The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement agencies have released very little regarding the case and haven’t released the cause of death.
Jackson spoke with the Rhino Times before the public release of some information, and the information Jackson provided that was not publicly known at the time concurs with the information later released as well as concurs with four 911 calls that were released two days ago.
Jackson contends Spearman took his own life because the victim had begun contacting Spearman’s wife on Facebook and had begun revealing the assault elsewhere and also filed legal charges, and the phone video is now in the hands of law enforcement.
Jackson didn’t reveal Hawthorne’s name to the Rhino Times, however, Hawthorne’s name later surfaced in law enforcement reports regarding confrontations between Spearman and Hawthorne.
The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department has released that on Tuesday, July 19, sheriff’s deputies responded to 4246 Farlow Dr. in Greensboro “in reference to a death investigation” in response to a 911 call at 5:08 p.m. of a 71-year-old, deceased in his residence.
“This is an ongoing investigation and no further information will be released at this time,” the press release stated.
The story begins on Wednesday, July 13.
The 20-year-old told Jackson that he had known Spearman since he was 15 years old and that he often did work in Spearman’s home and yard to earn extra money.
According to what the alleged victim told Jackson, on July 13, Spearman had texted him asking him to clean the gutters and stated he would pay the young man. Afterward, Spearman called him inside, Jackson said, and Spearman said he wanted to pray over the young man’s financial situation.
According to Jackson’s account, the alleged victim told him that the two men began praying over the financial troubles, and, as part of that prayer process, Spearman began anointing the 20-year-old on his feet with oil and began rubbing it into his feet and kissing his feet as part of the prayer ritual.
Spearman’s hand moved up the alleged victims’ leg according to this account and it became an overt sexual assault. (The Rhino Times is omitting some graphic details that Jackson conveyed.)
Jackson said that’s when the 20-year-old became angry, hit Spearman and told Spearman that he wasn’t gay. Jackson said Spearman grabbed the alleged victim to try and prevent him from leaving and also said he told Spearman he was going to tell his wife.
The 20-year-old told Jackson that Spearman ran to his neighbor’s house and told neighbors that the young man had tried to rob him.
Jackson said that the alleged victim filed a police report on Spearman and gave detectives the video.
On Friday, July 15, the young man reached out to Spearman’s wife on Facebook and informed her that Spearman tried to rape him.
Spearman was found dead days later in the bloody scene.
Jackson said he has spoken with detectives with the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department.
“The detective now has a video of it,” he said of the alleged sexual assault.