Skip to main content

Former U.P. Priest Receives Second Prison Sentence Following 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 today.

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 (CSC) and one count of second-degree CSC. Jacobs was sentenced to between eight and 15 years on each count, which will run concurrently.

Tuesday afternoon before Dickinson County's 41st Circuit Judge Christopher Ninomiya, Jacobs was sentenced to between eight and 15 years for one count of second-degree CSC, which will be served concurrently to the Ontonagon sentence.

The sentencing hearing remains on YouTube as of Wednesday morning. Whether or not it stays on the court's page 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."

In addition to prison time, the plea agreement reached in both counties 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: 

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

Last month, former Catholic school music teacher Joseph Comperchio pleaded guilty to sex abuse charges that will result in at least a decade in prison.

Former priests Patrick Casey and Brian Stanley pleaded guilty in their respective cases previously.

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.

This project was supported in part by Grant No. WE AX 0030 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.