Hopi Medicine Man Ivan Jackson Sentenced to One Year in Prison for Oral Sex with Patient
Hopi medicine man Ivan Jackson was sentenced on Tuesday to one year in prison for performing oral sex on a patient who believed she was receiving treatment.
Ivan Jackson, a trained medicine man and artist whose works include a mural at the Tuba City Regional Health Care facility, was sentenced this week to one year in prison for performing oral sex on a patient.
The victim, who wasn't named in federal court records, had sought help from Jackson in the summer of 2012 because she was "seeing people around her house."
He told her the problem was caused by something in her groin and that he knew how to fix it.
Jackson later admitted he'd performed oral sex on the woman for his own sexual gratification but maintains that at least some of his contact with her genitals was a genuine part of his treatment. The 58-year-old Tuba City resident has no prior criminal history and he's been married for 40 years.
It's unclear from court records what ailed the patient. But after her visit with Jackson, she reported his actions to the Hopi Police Department in Keams Canyon. The cops called the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs on the Hopi reservation, which referred the case to the Navajo Department of Criminal Investigations. Three days later, Jackson agreed to talk about the incident.
Jackson told investigator Michael Begay he'd advised the woman she was "suffering from abdominal 'tension' caused by the presence of foreign matter in her groin."
He urged her to go to a hospital. Or, he said, she could have him perform the treatment, which he said he'd been trained to do by another medicine man. When he finished his oral work on the patient's vulva, he claims, she thanked him in the Hopi language.
Police, refusing to believe this was some sort of cultural misunderstanding, invited Jackson back for another interview in February 2013 -- this time with a polygraph.
Jackson denied he'd conducted the "ceremony" for sexual purposes as he went through his story again. After being told he'd failed the polygraph test, though, Jackson gave a written and spoken confession.
"I performed oral sex on [the victim] three times," his confession states. "The first time was for medicinal purposes. The second time I was aroused and had an erection. The third time I want to see if she was interested and I was trying to see how far I could go with her. I did it to give her pleasure so that she would feel better . . . I am sorry I did this to her."
He was indicted on March 12, 2013, on two charges of sexual abuse.