Former Michigan priest gets prison time for 4 sexual misconduct charges

Gary Jacobs pleads guilty to 3 counts of first-degree CSC, 1 count of second-degree CSC

A prison cell.
A prison cell.

A former Michigan priest will serve several years in prison after pleading guilty to four criminal sexual conduct charges.

Gary Jacobs, 75, pleaded guilty Thursday (April 22) to three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The charges stem from incidents in Ontonagon County, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, officials said.

Jacobs will serve between eight and 15 years in prison for each count, running concurrently. He will register as a lifetime sex offender, receive sex offender counseling and wear a lifetime electronic monitor when released, according to authorities.

Any victims involved in the charged cases and who have come forward since will be allowed to speak at Jacobs’ sentencing, if they wish, officials said.

“This plea agreement and subsequent prison time is the culmination of resolute work by our clergy abuse investigation team, but that work would not be possible without the courageous victims who came forward,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “This sentence will not erase the pain Mr. Jacobs inflicted on those who trusted him, but I hope our pursuit of justice can offer some sense of relief as their vulnerability led to this accountability.”

Jacobs is set to be sentenced at 10 a.m. May 25.

He also faces a possible fifth charge from an incident in Dickinson County, authorities said. The same plea agreement is planned, and that hearing is scheduled for May 3.

This plea agreement will result in the harshest prison sentence handed down so far in the Michigan Attorney General’s clergy abuse investigation, according to a release. Former priests Patrick Casey and Brian Stanley pleaded guilty in their cases.


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Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.