Former U.P. priest handed harshest sentence in clergy abuse investigation

WPBN/WGTU ABC News-7, Michigan/May 27, 2021

By Devon Kessler

Ontonagon County, Michigan -- A former priest in the Upper Peninsula has been sentenced for his role in a clergy abuse investigation through the Michigan Attorney General's office.

Earlier this week, Gary Jacobs was sentenced to between eight and 15 years for each of the three counts of criminal sexual conduct first-degree and one count of criminal sexual conduct second-degree.

In late April, Jacobs pleaded guilty to all four of the counts of criminal sexual conduct.

Along with the years behind bars, Jacobs will also 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; and
  • lifetime electronic monitoring when released.

According to Attorney General Dana Nessel, the sentence for Jacobs is the harshest prison sentence yet in the investigation.

Jacobs faced cases in both Ontonagon and Dickinson counties.

He pleaded guilty to the charges against him in Dickinson County in mid-May.

Sentencing for Jacobs on the Dickinson County charges is scheduled for Friday, July 2.

Nessel said a total of nine people submitted or read victim impact statements during the sentencing in Ontonagon County.

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