Anime, guns and sex in Kerr Hall

Anime, guns and sex in Kerr Hall

Anime, guns and sex in Kerr Hall
August 05
13:35 2016

Adalberto Toledo | Senior Staff Writer

@aldot29

Editor’s Note: This story has been edited throughout for clarity. The facts of the story have not changed. Readers should know some of the details and web links within this story are graphic.

jackson-2

Joshua Jackson. Bend County Sheriffs Office | Courtesy

In the early part of 2016, a pornographic blog on Tumblr of a woman named Valerie Nystrom, a former UNT student, found its way to the fingertips of many North Texas students.

Not included among the account’s posts are the details of a relationship she had with a man named Joshua Jackson. According to documents, the North Texas Trafficking Task Force received reports that a woman — who was referred to as “V.N.” — was the victim of sexual trafficking.

Jackson is alleged to have forced Nystrom into “commercial sex acts,” but authorities have not yet determined whether that is true. And people close to both Jackson and Nystrom describe their relationship as a two-way street, though it was turbulent and complicated.

Nystrom allegedly lived with Jackson in fall 2012, according to an April 28 affidavit from the U.S. attorney’s office. On April 27, Texas and U.S. authorities arrested Jackson in Wichita Falls, Texas, and charged him with acquiring firearms (a violation of his felony probation) and state felony theft. He was also accused of trafficking Nystrom.

On May 18, U.S. attorneys filed an indictment of Jackson for the gun charges. Jackson is due in court August 24 to begin hearings for his gun charges. He has not been indicted for the sexual trafficking allegations.

The affidavit associated with the arrest said “V.N.” she enrolled at UNT in fall 2012 and moved into a dorm when she was 18. According to the affidavit, the pair began living together in Kerr Hall, the setting for many pornographic videos found in Nystrom’s blog. Nystrom said Jackson used “force, fraud and coercion” to make her engage in commercial sex acts.

Nystrom declined to comment, and efforts to reach Jackson for comment were unsuccessful.

The blog shows various pornographic posts, among which are videos of Nystrom having sex in a UNT residence hall, later confirmed in a video to be Kerr Hall. The videos are filmed secretly and vary between handheld and stationary shooting. Posts on Nystrom’s blog attribute the people holding the camera to  “Erin,” “Evan” and “Joseph.”

“It’s nearly unimaginable to me that a long term thing like this could have happened in a dorm,” UNT President Neal Smatresk said. “All protection available would’ve been afforded and all of our past policies would have disallowed this.”

The blog’s first post was on Feb. 1 and its last post was April 25. The videos posted to the blog show more than one location, all of them being places Nystrom and Jackson lived, including their most recent residence together: an apartment complex off Highway 121 in Grapevine.

Tony Avera, 27, a former roommate of Nystrom and Jackson’s, said he never saw anything suspicious and would describe the whole situation around Jackson’s arrest as “stupid,” the weapons found with Jackson during the arrest for “protection.” He added Jackson himself did not own the guns he saw around the Grapevine apartment, alleging that another roommate Devan Jacob Endert owned them. Endert could not be reached for comment.

He also said allegations that Nystrom was forced into commercial sex acts were far-fetched. 

“I didn’t know she was doing anything like that [prostitution], and if she was it wasn’t anything she was doing against her will,” Avera said. “I lived with them and I lived around them both and there were no signs of this at all. She wasn’t like beaten or anything. He wasn’t abusive toward her.”

Graphic Illustration by Tomas Gonzalez | Visuals Editor

Graphic Illustration by Tomas Gonzalez | Visuals Editor

Anime obsessed

Nystrom and Jackson met in 2012 at an anime convention in Dallas, the affidavit said. They frequented other anime events across Texas, even getting engaged during SanJapan 2015, a San Antonio anime convention.

For both, anime was a huge part of their lives. Jackson wanted to be professional cosplayer. Nysyrom managed Jackson’s cosplay efforts.

According to the U.S. attorney’s office affidavit, in late fall 2015, Nystrom said Jackson forced her to lie naked on a bed and used a Taser on her stomach, chest and genitals.

Avera, the roommate, described their relationship as rocky. He added that Nystrom lived in an apartment in Grapevine even after she and Jackson broke up in January 2016. She left later that month.

During this time, Jackson was coming under a lot of scrutiny from the cosplaying community. Jackson had claimed he was the inspiration for the character Fox Alistair, a character in the late Monty Oum’s 3D anime-influenced animated web series RWBY.

He was also attacked for claiming credit on cosplay costumes and materials he had purchased from a vendor with whom he had a long business relationship.

Ashley Jordan, a friend of Jackson’s from a foam fighting group called Sleeping Samurai, said she had moved to Pittsburgh two months before Jackson met Nystrom. She added she had not kept in contact with him for many years, but received “very vague and erratic messages” from him days before his arrest.

“He said his life was in danger and I suggested he call the police, but he went silent afterwards,” Jordan said. “Personally, I’m not interested in getting involved in something as erratic and dangerous as this all seemed, so I backed off.”

Jordan said because he seemed like such a good friend to people, a lot of people would be shocked by the arrest and “white knight for him.” She added there was always a lot of “drama” behind him, and that he “latched onto fantastical ideas easily.”

“This guy, Josh, loved dramatics. He wanted life to be as intense as anime and fancied himself a main character,” Jordan said. “Looking back after [about] four years and more experience, I can see that he embellished things or likely lied about a lot.”

It was his lies that made him unpopular in the cosplay community, and soon thereafter arguments started between him and Nystrom, Avera said. He said there were problems between Jackson and Nystrom during the time between their break up and her leaving their residence.

Avera said Jackson met Dominique Wagoner, who declined comment, at an anime convention after breaking off the engagement with Nystrom and soon after started dating. During this time, Nystrom and Endert also dated, until Endert broke things off before she finally left the Grapevine apartment.

An established escort

A close friend of Jackson’s said Jackson didn’t know anything about Nystrom becoming an escort. The source, who said he met Jackson during the mid-2000s, asked to remain anonymous out of fear that his connection with Jackson would jeopardize his career.

He said Jackson maintained he was unaware of Nystrom’s posts on eccie.net, a fast-growing online community of “escorts, hobbyists and providers” with escort reviews, chats, galleries and discussion forums.

The source added Jackson thought Nystrom’s escort business was “non-existent” prior to their break up. After the break-up, he said, Jackson “accepted the idea that there was prostitution,” but insisted he hadn’t known anything about it.

“I didn’t believe him,” the source said. “You shared a bed with someone for five years and they then had sex for money in it for five years, and you didn’t know about it? It doesn’t make sense.”

Since June 2013, Nystrom has consistently posted on ECCIE, all of the addresses she gives out being places her and Jackson lived, according to Jackson’s close friend.

In a Feb. 2 ECCIE thread Nystrom started, she said she had been “outted by a hobbiest” (sic) who told everyone in her home town of Muenster, Texas. In the post, she added that she would start going by her real name, Valerie, instead of “CJ.” She said “it’s still me, I have no point in hiding anymore… I’m not sure how to recover from being outted (sic) besides to stop hiding” and asked for advice on the forum.

In the same thread, she spoke about the person who videotaped her sexual acts. She describes them as a “transitioning female/male” who no one knew about, but she called them her “girlfriend/boyfriend.” She said in the post, however, that because she started dating someone else, they had to reach another agreement, and finally end the collaboration altogether.

“The problem is, I started dating another guy in the process, along with another girl. So I began paying her/him to record my sessions for security reasons,” Nystrom said in the post. “Yes, it was for my own personal taste, but it was fun seeing if anyone noticed my little plaything hiding in the closet. After we broke up, I bought a hidden camera speaker set, so I no longer needed ‘another person.’”

In the same post, she said she found it difficult getting her roommate out of the house while she had sex and said that two weeks prior to Feb. 2, two of her roommates “caught [her] in the act,” and subsequently kicked her out. She said she robbed them, took their dog Kuro, all evidence anyone could “use on [her],” and left. She also mentioned she went to a “crisis center” and had been uploading her videos because, in her words, “in-case (sic) it went to court I have it said they were making me do it… sadly the justice system is in my favor being a pretty white female.”

In the same thread, Nystrom claims she made $120,000 from escorting, and got 82 to 88 percent of her business from ECCIE. She wrote ECCIE alone made her $8,000 per month. About the videos, she said: “I’m posting the videos to get people to ask curtain (sic) questions… all of my roommates knew… so if I go down I will take them down with me…”

Though he suspected, the source never knew her escorting was as extensive as it was. He said while visiting the Grapevine apartment, both Jackson and Nystrom said they had a “house-call” for “massage therapy” and that he not be there, along with their roommates. In a YouTube video posted to the John Smith channel May 19 titled “Joshtruth,” the unidentified voice runs through many of the false claims Jackson has made around the cosplay community, including his claim of being a “professional masseuse.”

The source also said this wasn’t the first time Jackson was involved with somebody tied to prostitution.

“What alarmed me about Valerie was that this was a pattern,” the source said. “After Josh and another girl had officially broken up and the relationship was unsalvageable, then it came out that she was a prostitute. While I suspected Valerie of being the prostitute prior to them breaking up, it never officially came out of Josh’s mouth until after they broke up. I was like, ‘Wait a minute, you broke up with another girl that’s a prostitute?”

Nystrom said she sought legal advice as per the content of the videos being filmed in Kerr Hall, but said her counsel assured her she was safe as she no longer attended UNT.

On Feb. 8, Nystrom posted on ECCIE that she was safe with her parents at their house in Denison, and three days later a post on her blog titled “Valentine’s Day roleplay?” she invites someone to “‘break’ into [her] house” and have sex with her, then saying she is “giving consent right now.” The address would be given in a private message, but was later put on the blog in an April 12 post.

Sources close to both Nystrom and Jackson speculate on the authorship of the blog, the posts to PornHub and the ECCIE account. The anonymous source said Nystrom had told him she believed Josh was uploading the PornHub videos, which were talked about both in the ECCIE website and in her blog. Additionally, all of the PornHub uploads and raunchy blog posts appeared online after Jackson and Nystrom broke up.

On ECCIE, members commented on the similarity between Jackson and Nystrom’s writing style. One account, Chateau Becot, wrote “even a… monkey can see the writing tempos, grammar patterns, etc. are the same. What’s the purpose of this charade?”

Josh’s side of the story

When Jackson was arrested on April 27 and his story subsequently published May 20 by multiple media sources, chatter arose in the anime community. The same anime fans who questioned his claims and brought to light his lies were unsurprised of the arrest, while others worried.

His main Facebook account was for a while inactive, but began posting again June 12 with a cryptic letter written by a “shadow,” a pseudonym Jackson often used. But on June 13, a long post on Jackson’s Facebook wall addressed accusations made against him in the anime circles. The post also talks about Nystrom’s abuse accusations.

The post is said to have been posted by Cheryl Lawrence — described by Avera as Samurai Titan’s “auntie,” and by Jackson as his “godmother… [his] mom…” Lawrence could not be reached for comment but since June 12 has been posting updates she receives from Jackson while imprisoned at Seagoville Federal Correctional Facility.

“I never forced anyone to do anything. It’s literally my M.O.” the post on Jackson’s account read. “You can’t force anyone, especially Val[erie], the feisty redhead, to do anything she wants to do, but that doesn’t make good news.”

He said it was Nystrom who wrote Jackson’s biographies on his social media accounts, which claimed he was the inspiration for Fox Alistair. Jackson also claimed the locations in the affidavit were also those of major anime conventions who she planned the visits to, since Nystrom was Jackson’s manager. He also states the reason for their break up: Nystrom had been sleeping with Endert.

It also said Endert made a false insurance claim on the guns found with Jackson at the time of his arrest, and in a post from June 20 said he is “not be[ing] charged with any kind of sex crimes or human trafficking” and has a pending charge for unlawful possession of firearms which he said “is currently unproven.”

Of Nystrom, Jackson wrote in the June 13 post and addressed her directly. He said she “wanted to control [him]” and claimed he has a “staged call now proving [she] tried to manipulate [them] into admitting guilt for a bogus crime.”

“[Nystrom] reminded me that I was so stupid in love. I always talked about her,” Jackson wrote in the June 13 post. “I was separated from everyone I love for four years, piece by piece. But as I said, that doesn’t make a good news story.”

Contributed to the report: Scott Sidway | News Editor

Featured Image: 1413 Maple St. Tomas Gonzalez | Visuals Editor

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