Former Jacques probation officer faults system

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A former probation officer who supervised the repeat sex offender charged in the rape and killing of a 12-year-old girl says he and his colleagues were given too little time and too few resources to do an adequate job supervising probationers.

Paul McNaughton, whose caseload included Michael Jacques, also noted that he was never made aware of one of the past crimes of Jacques, now 42, who is charged in the June abduction and killing of his niece, Brooke Bennett.

That’s because Jacques’ 1985 conviction for lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor – a 13-year-old girl – had been stricken from his record under the plea deal his lawyers negotiated in that case.

McNaughton says knowledge of the earlier offense likely would have colored his own and the corrections and court systems’ handling of Jacques, decreasing the likelihood that he would be released from prison after four years and later from probation.

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