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Former Upper Peninsula priest receives second prison sentence after plea agreement

gavel, blind justice
Posted at 12:55 PM, Jul 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-14 12:55:59-04

LANSING, Mich. — A former priest in the Upper Peninsula has been sentenced for the remaining sex abuse charge against him, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Wednesday.

Back in April, Nessel announced a plea agreement with Gary Jacobs, who faced charges in both Ontonagon and Dickinson counties, according to a news release.

The Ontonagon sentencing, which happened in May, involved guilty pleas on three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Jacobs to sentenced to between eight and 15 years on each count, which will run concurrently.

He was sentenced Tuesday afternoon to between eight and 15 years for one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, which will be served at the same time as the Ontonagon sentence.

“The sentencing in Dickinson County marks the end of more than a year’s worth of work to secure justice for survivors of Mr. Jacobs’ heinous crimes,” Nessel said. “It is my sincere hope this prison sentence brings some closure to those who trusted him. This case would not have been possible without their courage to speak up and my clergy abuse team’s commitment to amplifying those voices in court.”

In addition to prison time, the plea agreement reach in both counties requires Jacobs to complete:

  • Lifetime sex offender registration related to the criminal sexual conduct first-degree counts
  • Tier II registration on the criminal sexual conduct second-degree charge
  • Sex offender counseling
  • Lifetime electronic monitoring when released

Statements from two of the survivors in the case can be read here and here.

Nessel’s clergy abuse team has secured convictions against four individuals so far.

Last month, former Catholic school music teacher Joseph Comperchio pleaded guilty to sex abuse charges that will result in at least a decade in prison.

RELATED: Michigan's clergy abuse investigation team secures fourth conviction

Former priests Patrick Casey and Brian Stanley previously pleaded guilty in their respective cases.

Tips related to clergy abuse can be submitted on the attorney general’s website or by calling 844-324-3374.