When a Texas father punished his daughter for sending inappropriate texts on her cell phone, he had no idea that the disciplinary action would end with him behind bars. However, through time-worn tension with his ex-wife and the legal system, that’s where Ronald Jackson found himself after he confiscated the device. Find out how Jackson’s own family had him arrested for putting his 12-year-old daughter in mobile time out…
When Ronald Jackson confiscated his 12-year-old daughter’s phone in 2013 after he found rude and inappropriate text messages regarding another woman, he never could have expected that years later he would end up behind bars for the act.
“I was being a parent. A child does something wrong — you teach them what’s right. You tell them what they did wrong and you give them a punishment to show that they shouldn’t be doing that,” Jackson told Fox 6.
But after the child’s mother Michelle Steppe found out about the punishment, she decided to call the police on Jackson.
Then Jackson’s ex-wife Michelle Steppe intervened.
ackson and ex-wife Michelle Steppe had been separated for years, and Steppe didn’t have to go too far to call the cops on her ex – she’s currently married to a Grand Prairie, Texas police officer.
After the police were contacted, Jackson refused to hand over the phone. “At that point I decided the police don’t interfere with my ability to parent my daughter,” he told KHOU 11 News.
Steppe insisted that the phone belonged to her since she had purchased it for her daughter, so three months after Jackson still refused to give the phone back on principle, he received a citation for theft of personal property.
Rather than return the phone after being offered a plea deal in January of 2014, Jackson hired a lawyer and requested to be taken to trial.
That’s when the police came and arrested him at 2AM in the morning…
…Jackson was arrested.
Unknown to Jackson, a warrant had been issued for his arrested, so in April of 2015 Jackson was handcuffed and taken to jail in the middle of the night.
“I couldn’t believe they would go to this extent for a cellphone. It didn’t seem right,” says Jackson, who ended up posting the $1,500 bail to be released from prison after one evening there.
Losing his relationship with his daughter has been the worst part.
The trial proceeded over the course of two days, and eventually Jackson was found not guilty. The judge cited that insufficient evidence was available to prove a theft charge.
Unfortunately Jackson’s relationship with both his ex-wife and his daughter, now 15 has unraveled through the whole ordeal. Although Jackson won the case, and held onto the cell phone, he says that he’s “can’t ever have a relationship with them again.”
Parents everywhere respond in support of Jackson.
Response has been mixed, but mostly in favor of Jackson’s action in trying to properly discipline his daughter, and sticking by his guns when his ex-wife came back at him. “This mother should be ashamed of herself,” readers have responded on KHOU’s Facebook page.
“The poor girl just lost her relationship with her dad because her mom was being petty. Methinks we saw a stripper being born,” wrote another. “This mom is using the girl to get revenge on the dad. She’ll end up with a daughter she can’t control and then blame it on the dad.”