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DA: Texas man assaulted multiple children in Columbia County

John Acklin
March 25, 2019 03:40 pm Updated: March 25, 2019 05:00 pm

HUDSON — A Texas man was arraigned Monday on new charges that he allegedly sexually assaulted three children under 13 years old in Columbia County in the early-to-mid 1990s and 2000s.

John Acklin, 55, of Bandera, Texas, was arraigned in Columbia County Court on a new 32-count indictment that includes three separate charges: 11 counts of predatory sexual assault against a child, a class A-11 felony; 12 counts of first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child, a class B felony; and nine counts of aggravated sexual abuse in the second-degree, a class C felony.

Two children, a boy and girl under 13 years old, were allegedly sexually assaulted between 2004 and 2006 in Columbia County, according to the March 12 indictment. Another boy, under 11 years old, was allegedly assaulted between 1992 and 1996.

Columbia County Judge Jonathan Nichols set a trial date of Aug. 5 for Acklin.

Acklin, who has been held in Columbia County Jail, was sent back Monday without bail after his appearance in court.

State police began an investigation in 2017 into reports of sexual assaults that allegedly occurred more than a decade ago in Livingston. Acklin was initially arraigned Nov. 9, 2018, on one count of first-degree criminal sex act, a class B felony, according to state police. Since Acklin’s arrest, other alleged victims have come forward, according to the indictment.

Acklin was extradited back to New York on Nov. 8, 2018, with the help of the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office. Acklin was arrested as a fugitive from justice on Oct. 25, 2018, state police said.

State police worked with the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers in Bandera County, Texas, to bring Acklin back to New York to face the charges.

Predatory sexual assault against a child carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, under New York state law. The minimum sentence is 10 to 20 years in prison without a prior criminal history.

Conviction for first-degree criminal sexual act carries a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of 25 years in state prison for a first-time offender. Aggravated sexual abuse carries a maximum of 15 years and a minimum of seven years in state prison.

Acklin is being represented by Ian Crimmins.