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UPDATE: Former UP priest sentenced in Ontonagon County

75-year-old Gary Jacobs as sentenced to 8 to 15 years in prison for the charges he faced in Ontonagon County.
FILE. Gary Allen Jacobs mugshot.
FILE. Gary Allen Jacobs mugshot.(WLUC)
Published: May. 14, 2021 at 3:20 PM EDT|Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 10:41 AM EDT
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ONTONAGON COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - UPDATE: May 25 and 26, 2021: 75-year-old Gary Jacobs, a former U.P. priest facing charges in both Dickinson and Ontonagon Counties, was sentenced to 8 to 15 years in prison for the charges he faced in Ontonagon County.

Additionally, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said Jacobs will be required to complete:

  • Lifetime sex offender registration related to the CSC 1st degree counts
  • Tier II registration on the CSC 2nd degree charge
  • Sex offender counseling
  • Lifetime electronic monitoring if/when released

It was also important to the Attorney General’s clergy abuse team that survivors of Jacobs’ abuse be heard if they so chose. Nine people submitted or read victim impact statements during the sentencing.

“I believe child sexual abuse is worse than murder. Once you are dead you are finished. When you are abused, you endure the mental anguish for the rest of your life. The sexual abuse that [Gary Jacobs] inflicted on me has interfered and destroyed my life. The ripple effects of this man’s crime against me as a boy are still present and he must be held accountable by serving his maximum sentence,” one survivor said.

Two of the survivors were willing to share their full statements while staying anonymous. You can read the statements by clicking the links to each below:

Sentencing in Dickinson County is scheduled for July 2 at Noon eastern time.

ORIGINAL STORY: A former priest in the Upper Peninsula has pleaded guilty to the remaining sex abuse case against him.

75-year-old Gary Jacobs pleaded guilty to four counts of criminal sexual conduct in Ontonagon County last month.

Friday afternoon, Jacobs pleaded guilty to one count of criminal sexual conduct 2nd degree in Dickinson County. The plea agreement spans both counties. Other aspects of the deal include:

  • Jacobs will serve between eight and 15 years on each of the five total counts, which will run concurrently
  • Lifetime sex offender registration on the three counts of CSC 1st degree
  • Tier II registration on the CSC 2nd degree charge
  • All victims – those involved in the charged cases and those who came forward since – can speak at sentencing if they wish
  • Jacobs will undergo sex offender counseling
  • Lifetime electronic monitoring when released

“I am proud of the work done by our clergy abuse team to reach this plea agreement,” Nessel said. “None of this would be possible without the courageous victims who have been willing to share their stories in order to achieve justice.”

A sentencing date in Dickinson County is set for Friday, July 2, at Noon eastern. In Ontonagon County, Jacobs’ sentencing date is set for Tuesday, May 25, at 10:00 a.m. eastern.

This plea agreement will result in the harshest prison sentence handed down thus far in the Michigan Attorney General’s clergy abuse investigation. Previously, former downstate priests Patrick Casey and Brian Stanley pleaded guilty in their respective cases.

This project was supported in part by Grant No. WE AX 0030 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

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