Former U.P. priest faces 11 criminal sexual conduct charges

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LANSING, Mich. (WJMN) – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Thursday morning that former priest Gary Allen Jacobs was bound over to circuit court for trial on a total of 11 criminal sexual conduct charges he reportedly committed in the 1980s. Jacobs was serving as a priest under the Catholic Diocese of Marquette in the Upper Peninsula during that time.

This decision comes after three days of testimony across two counties involving five victims.

Jacobs was bound over to Dickinson County Circuit Court Monday on a second-degree criminal sexual conduct charge by district court Judge Julie LaCost. Jacobs is scheduled to appear June 1 in Dickinson County Circuit Court before Judge Christopher Ninomiya 

Following testimony on Tuesday and Wednesday, Ontonagon County District Court Judge Janis Burgess bound over Jacobs on a total of 10 charges Wednesday. Jacobs will face eight counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, and two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct in Ontonagon County Circuit Court before Judge Michael Pope. Jacobs’ next appearance there has not been scheduled. 

Jacobs, 74, faces up to life in prison and a lifetime of electronic monitoring for each of the first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges, and up to 15 years in prison for each second-degree criminal sexual conduct charge. All charges involve victims who were minors at the time of the incidents.

Jacobs was originally charged in January on seven criminal sexual conduct charges in three separate cases that reportedly occurred in Ontonagon and Dickinson counties. An Albuquerque, New Mexico, resident, Jacobs was arrested Jan. 17 in New Mexico on those charges.  

After two new victims came forward, he was charged again in March with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. 

Rather than await extradition from New Mexico, Jacobs voluntarily returned to Michigan to be arraigned on the charges in March.  

“My office will continue to seek justice on behalf of those who have been victimized by members of the clergy,” Nessel said. “Sexual predators must not go unpunished and I will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those who have used their positions of authority to prey on children and others.” 

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