Former Michigan priest sentenced to prison after sexually abusing teens in 1980s

Gary Jacobs (Photo: MDOC)

A former priest will spend 8-15 years in prison for sexually abusing teenagers in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. 

Gary Jacobs, 75, pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal sexual conduct in Dickinson County in May. In April he pleaded guilty to four counts of criminal sexual conduct in Ontonagon County.

MORE: Former Michigan priest pleads guilty in another sex abuse case

He was sentenced to 8-15 years for the Ontonagon charges in May as part of a plea deal and sentenced 8-15 years for the remaining charges this month. The sentences will be served concurrently.

Diocese officials said Jacobs was removed from ministry in 1988 and left Michigan. He was living in New Mexico when he was charged in January 2020.

"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," Michigan Attorney General Dana 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." 

His plea deal requires that he register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Also, Jacobs will have lifetime electronic monitoring when released and he must undergo sex offender counseling.