AUGUSTA — An Augusta woman who pleaded guilty to sexual crimes against a 6-year-old girl told a jury hearing her alleged accomplice’s case that she created and sent him sexually explicit images of the girl because he asked her to do it so many times that he broke her down.

Jessica Cox, 32, pleaded guilty to nearly 20 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and five counts of unlawful sexual contact and is currently serving a five-year prison term. She was forced to testify in Jared Jandreau’s trial on 23 counts — 17 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, five counts of unlawful sexual contact and one count of solicitation to commit a gross sexual assault.

She said she took the images, more than a dozen photographs and one video, some which police said included images of Cox having unlawful sexual contact with the girl, because Jandreau was so persistent in asking her.

“He broke me down and kept asking me and I shouldn’t have, but I did,” Cox said when prosecutor Paul Rucha, an assistant attorney general, asked her why she sent Jandreau photographs of the girl.

She also testified that in text messages between her and Jandreau, in which he asked her to make a video with someone he identified only by her nickname, that the nickname he used was the young girl’s.

Under cross examination by one of Jandreau’s two attorneys, Darrick Banda, Cox acknowledged that he did not threaten or force her to take or send him the images. She agreed with Banda that she had sent the photos of her own free will. When asked if Jandreau had coerced her into taking a sexually explicit photograph of the girl, she said no, other than he persistently had bugged her for pictures.

Citing previous interviews of Cox by Detective David Armstrong of the state police computer crimes unit, during which Cox told Armstrong she didn’t remember why she sent images to Jandreau, Banda accused her of lying — either then to police or in court Wednesday to jurors — by now saying that she is sure she sent him the images at his request. Banda suggested Cox was now accusing Jandreau of asking for the photos because she had gotten a plea deal from the state and to avoid potentially facing federal charges of producing child pornography.

“Were you lying then, or now?” Banda asked Cox.

Cox responded that when she was initially interviewed by Armstrong she was trying to answer in a way to avoid taking responsibility for any crime. But that she is now telling the truth and taking full responsibility for what she did.

“I don’t think I was lying,” Cox said. “I’ve taken responsibility for what I’ve done wrong. So I’m not lying now.”

On the witness stand, Cox also said her memory of the summer of 2017, when the photographs were created, is “patchy” in part because at the time she was using prescription morphine. She also said she deleted the photographs of the girl from her phone as soon as she sent them to Jandreau, because he told her to delete them.

Rucha later asked Cox if she had any agreement with the state, as part of her plea deal in her case, to come to court to testify against Jandreau. She said there was no such agreement.

Banda also grilled Cox about a letter from the federal Department of Justice’s chief criminal prosecutor for Maine, Todd Lowell, sent to her attorney Verne Paradie Jr., a letter Cox said she knew nothing about.

Rucha said the letter was not an agreement on the part of federal prosecutors to potentially not charge Cox with producing child pornography, but did indicate her testimony in Jandreau’s trial would not be used to prosecute her on federal charges.

The one count of solicitation to commit a gross sexual assault, against Jandreau, is tied to an allegation that a number of times he asked Cox to perform oral sex on a boy, who at the time was less than 14 years old. That act, according to police, did not end up taking place. Testimony indicated that Cox never met the boy, and Jandreau never met the girl who was in the images Cox allegedly sent him.

The case is expected to go to the jury for deliberations on a verdict Thursday.

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