News from the Victoria, BC courthouse…
Father Philip Jacobs has been found guilty on one count of sexual touching. That is the good news. There were, I believe four charges, – guilty on one. Only one. That’s the bad news.
I was truly concerned that he was going to get off. This was trial by judge, – I may be mistaken but honestly don’t think all the nonsense put forth by his high-priced defence lawyers would ever have floated by a jury. But, a guilty on one.
The small courtroom was packed to the hilt – probably around 30 people, most of whom seemed to be there to support the victims and their families. There were supporters of Father Jacobs there too, but I am told that most appeared to be there for the victims.
The judge arrived late. Father Jacobs, was dapper in a grey suit. The tall priest fidgeted from time to time as the verdict was rendered, but on the whole listened intently as the judge pronounced her ruling.
The judge said she needed proof ‘beyond a reasonable’ that Jacobs had committed the offences – she said she didn’t get beyond a reasonable doubt. I don’t know why the Crown failed to make the case, but, such is often the fate of victims who, of course, have no choice of Crown.
By the sound of it, lots of judicial credit was given to Jacobs for going for treatment in the States (Institute for Living) and his ability to restrain himself:- yes, the judge bought the line that Jacobs therapy had taught him self-restraint. My understanding is that trip for “treatment” transpired in or around 1974. I will check on that to be sure. There was reference to Jacobs’ abuse of his own cousin – I think fairly detailed, and, – yes, this was believed by the judge.
When the judge finally came out with a guilty verdict on the one charge, a young man in the courtroom broke down completely. I don’t think people understand the pressure these victims are under.
People milled around the courtroom for a spell afterwards, and then milled around outside. The atmosphere has been described to me as that of “stunned silence.”
There was no date announced for sentencing. My understanding is that sentencing is a few months downstream.
Meanwhile, Father Philip Jacobs – convicted molester – is footloose and fancy free.
I will keep an eye out for media coverage – will post as soon as I see it.
How sad that we must learn to rejoice when a few judicial crumbs fall under the table. No matter – well done to those who came forward with their allegations. Thanks to you we can now legally say that Father Jacobs was every bit as much a wolf in sheep’s clothing after his treatment as he was before.
Enough for now,