Judge steps aside after blasting USF player, coach

- The case of the judge who blasted a University of South Florida football player and head coach has now voluntarily taken herself off the case as local and national media weigh in on her courtroom scolding.

LaDarrius Jackson is accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year old student in her dorm and holding her against her will.   Yesterday, Judge Margaret Taylor set a high bond for Jackson of $100,000, but before she did that, she scolded Jackson.

She said, as a former graduate of USF, she was embarrassed by this latest arrest and then went after coach Charlie Strong.

"Coach Strong, if you are listening, in the last couple months there have been two arrests of your players for very violent felonies,” Taylor said.  “This court, and I’m sure I’m not alone, questions whether you have control over your players."

VIDEO: Watch her full comments

Her scolding caught the attention of the national media. Coach Strong later released a statement saying he was disappointed by this latest arrest.

"The actions of two players have harmed the reputation of our program, our wonderful university, and my character."

In disqualifying herself from the case, Taylor cited a state judicial rule about a defendant fearing he would not get a fair hearing because of prejudice or bias from the judge.

Bay Area lawyer Barry Cohen says he is incensed by the judge's "accusatory" speech. He penned a letter to the Tampa Bay Times, saying he's "embarrassed for the legal profession."

"It was clear she was biased. It was clear she has no concept to be presumed innocent in this country," Cohen told FOX 13 News. "She showed her true colors. She's a disgrace to the judiciary,"

Cohen ended his fiery letter calling for Judge Taylor to be removed from the bench completely.

"How can anybody go in front of her and feel like they're going to be entitled to innocence?" Cohen asked.

Jackson's lawyers, meanwhile are asking for a new bond hearing.

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Judge steps aside after blasting USF player, coach
  • 13 dogs dead following Pasco home explosion
  • Woman shot after allegedly pointing shotgun at deputies
  • TPD: Suspect shot after attacking officers behind house
  • Man who allegedly shot Kissimmee officers makes first appearance
  • N-word painted on Citrus Co. family's house
  • Woman, deputies identifed involved in Hernando County deputy-involved shooting
  • Pasco home explosion caused by improper fueling of generator
  • Search for female TV thief who struck twice, deputies say
  • Local firefighter catches 409-pound grouper