March 11, 2020
LANSING – In the latest update from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s investigation into sexual abuse by members of the clergy, Gary Allen Jacobs was formally arraigned late Tuesday in Ontonagon County on two additional criminal sexual conduct cases that he reportedly committed in the 1980s while serving as a priest under the Catholic Diocese of Marquette in the Upper Peninsula.
Jacobs was originally charged in January on seven additional criminal sexual conduct charges in three separate cases that reportedly occurred in Ontonagon and Dickinson counties.
Since January, two new victims came forward making sexual assault reports against Jacobs, 74, now of Albuquerque, New Mexico. In the two cases, he is charged with three criminal sexual conduct counts stemming from incidents that reportedly occurred between the dates of Jan. 1, 1981 and Dec. 31, 1984 in Ontonagon County.
He’s being charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a child between the ages of 13 and 15, and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a child between the ages of 13 and 15. Both cases arise from his abuse of his authority status as the victims’ priest.
Each first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge is punishable by up to life in prison and a lifetime of electronic monitoring, while the second-degree criminal sexual conduct charge is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Jacobs was arrested Jan. 17 in New Mexico on three previously charged cases of criminal sexual conduct. Rather than await extradition from New Mexico, Jacobs voluntarily returned to Michigan to be arraigned on the new charges.
“The progress this office is making with regard to clergy abuse is encouraging, though troubling at the same time,” Nessel said. “As my investigators continue to uncover more potential suspects, my thoughts are with the growing number of victims who have also come forward. My team will continue to talk with those who allege clergy abuse and conduct our investigations thoroughly as we pursue the truth.”
Jacobs is scheduled for a preliminary conference at 1:30 p.m. March 23 and a preliminary exam at 10:30 a.m. March 30. Both are in Ontonagon County District Court. The court denied Jacobs bond, but it will be addressed again at the preliminary examination.
Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Attorney General’s office does not provide photos of defendants. However, a photo may be available through the booking agency.