Former U.P. Priest receives second prison sentence following abuse plea


LANSING, Mich. (WJMN) -Gary Jacobs, a former priest in both Ontonagon and Dickinson Counties, has been sentenced for the remaining sex abuse charge against him.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced a plea agreement with Jacobs in April. The Ontonagon sentencing happened in may and involved guilty pleas on three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) and one count of second-degree CSC. Jacobs was sentenced to between eight and 15 years on each count which will run concurrently.

The Dickinson County sentencing took place Tuesday, July 13 before Dickinson County’s 41st Circuit Judge, Christopher Ninomiya. Jacobs will serve between eight and 15 years for one count of second-degree CSC. That time will also run concurrently with the Ontonagon sentence.

The hearing is available to watch on Youtube currently, but whether it will stay online is up to the 41st Circuit Court.

“This 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.” 

The plea agreement reached in both counties also requires Jacobs 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; and 
  • lifetime electronic monitoring when released. 

It was also important to the Attorney General’s clergy abuse team that survivors of Jacobs’ abuse be heard if they wanted. You can read statements from two of the survivors by clicking the links below: 

  1. Jacobs victim impact statement 1 
  2. Jacobs victim impact statement 2 

To learn more about Nessel’s investigation into clergy abuse or to submit information, visit the Attorney General’s website. Tips can also be provided over the phone by calling 844-324-3374.  

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