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Former U.P. priest gets 2nd prison sentence after abuse plea

LANSING — 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.

In April, Nessel announced a plea agreement with Gary Jacobs, who faced charges in both Ontonagon and Dickinson counties.

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 CSC. Jacobs was sentenced to between eight and 15 years on each count. The sentences will run concurrently.

Jacobs was sentenced Tuesday afternoon before Dickinson County’s 41st Circuit Court Judge Christopher Ninomiya to serve between eight and 15 years for one count of second-degree CSC, according to the release from Nessel’s office. This sentence will be served concurrently to the Ontonagon sentence.

“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 in the release. “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 reached in both counties requires Jacobs to complete:

≤ lifetime sex offender registration related to the first-degree CSC counts;

≤ tier II registration on the second-degree CSC charge;

≤ sex offender counseling; and

≤ lifetime electronic monitoring when released.

The sentencing hearing remains on YouTube as of Wednesday morning. If it remains on the court’s page is up to the 41st Circuit Court.

It was also important to the attorney general’s clergy abuse team that survivors of Jacobs’ abuse be heard if they wanted, according to the news release.

Statements from two of the survivors by are available online at :

≤ www.michigan.gov/documents/ag/Statement_3_Redacted_726419_7.pdf

≤ www.michigan.gov/documents/ag/Statement_4_Redacted_726420_7.pdf

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

In June, former Catholic school music teacher Joseph Comperchio pleaded guilty to sex abuse charges that will result in at least a decade in prison, according to Nessel’s office.

Former priests Patrick Casey and Brian Stanley pleaded guilty in their respective cases previously, the release states.

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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