Victims make ‘last ditch’ plea
Priest will be sentenced next week
He was found guilty on child sex charges
But cleric faces only five years behind bars
SNAP to bishop: “Help keep predator locked up”
Group wants Catholic officials & public to write to judge & prosecutor
For immediate release: Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013
A support group for clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters are urging Victoria’s Catholic bishop to write a judge and prosecutor about a predator priest who will be sentenced soon for child sex crimes.
Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are writing to Bishop Richard J. Gagnon begging him to
--give the priest’s personnel file to the prosecutor in the case,
--contact the judge, begging her to lock up the predator for “as long as possible,” and
--use his vast resources to urge prod his flock to do likewise.
The victims are also asking anyone “who many have seen, suspected or suffered” the cleric’s crimes or church cover ups - to call law enforcement officials immediately, so he might face new charges and be jailed longer.
On Sept. 4, Fr. Phil J. Jacobs will be sentenced for sexually abusing a Saanich child. Last year, he admitted abuse incidents involving boys in Ohio, claiming he wanted “to teach the boys to masturbate.” (At least ten children there have said he molested them.)
In Canada, Fr. Jacob worked at St. Rose of Lima in Sooke (from 1996 to 1998) and St. Joseph the Worker in Saanich (from 1998 to 2002).
SNAP is urging Victoria Bishop Gagnon to contact the judge and prosecutor in the case and give them Jacobs’ personnel file and any other potentially helpful information. SNAP also wants Bishop Gagnon to announce Jacobs’ impending sentencing at masses this weekend, and prod anyone with information about his crimes to also contact the judge and prosecutor.
SNAP believes Catholic officials have a moral and civic duty to actively help law enforcement prosecute and convict predator priests through “aggressive outreach” using parish bulletins, church websites and pulpit announcements. Bishops recruit, educate, ordain, hire, train, transfer and often protect child molesting clerics, SNAP argues. So bishops can’t merely suspend or defrock such predators and do nothing else to safeguard kids, the group asserts.
Catholic officials claim they got the first abuse complaint about Jacobs in 1993. After 1996, Fr. Jacobs worked in Canada and taught in Saudi Arabia. In 2002, he was suspended in Canada after child sex abuse allegations against him surfaced. In August of 2010, he was arrested on variety of sex offenses while at St Joseph the Worker parish in Saanich on Vancouver Island.
In February, at a criminal trial, he was convicted on one count.
In the vast majority of child sex abuse cases, SNAP says, offenders are charged with only a fraction of the crimes they actually commit. So a vigorous public awareness effort by church employees – from bishops and monsignors to secretaries and custodians – can “make a major difference” in how successful prosecutors are in keeping predators away from kids.
Jacobs is an Ohio native who was ordained in 1974. A photo of Jacobs is available at BishopAccountability.org
The judge in the case is Hon. Miriam Gropper, Justice: Supreme Court of British Columbia (604-660-2735, Fax: 604-660-1723) and the prosecutor is Clare Jennings. Fr. Jacobs is represented by lawyer Chris Considine (Phone: 312-236-6200, Fax:312-577-1593, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Fr. Jacobs spent time at four central Ohio Catholic facilities. According to the Columbus Dispatch, Fr. Jacobs worked “at St. Joseph the Worker School in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In central Ohio, he was at St. Anthony Parish on the North Side from 1975 to 1979, St. Philip the Apostle Parish on the East Side from 1979 to 1981, and St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Westerville from 1986 to 1989. He also taught philosophy at the Pontifical College Josephinum on the Far North Side from 1986 to 1993.”
He also worked at St Philip's Episcopal Church and St Anthony Parish School, both in Columbus.