Conditional sentence for priest convicted of sex offence in Saanich

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Phil Jacobs      File photo

Former Saanich priest Phil Jacobs has been handed a five month conditional sentence, which includes two months of house arrest, during a sentencing hearing today in Victoria.

He also has two years of probation following the sentence.

In February, Justice Miriam Gropper found Jacobs has guilty of touching a young person for a sexual purpose, but not guilty on three other counts of molestation.

Three young men and former students of St. Joseph the Worker School testified that Jacobs molested or sexually touched them during his tenure as parish priest at the Saanich Catholic school in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The guilty charge stems from a witness who testified that during tutoring sessions at Jacobs’ house on the school grounds, he ended up in a position of laying on the couch with his legs over Jacobs’ lap.

During testimony in December, a witness told the court that Jacobs’ right hand would slide up and down the witness’s left thigh over his pants – “he went from my knee to my groin back and forth … the back of his hand touched my genitals.”

Gropper agreed with the Crown’s assertion that Jacobs’ touching of the victim’s genitals was “deliberate,” and not accidental brushing.

More to come.

This entry was posted in Accused or charged, Canada, Clerical sexual predators, Scandal and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Conditional sentence for priest convicted of sex offence in Saanich

  1. Sylvia says:

    And there it is. A conditional sentence. I expected this, but, oh my, – it’s not easy to see it in black and white.

    Pray for the victims. Pray for their families.

    Not a day behind bars. Not a day.

    I will post other media coverage as it comes along.

  2. B says:

    I’m absolutely appalled by the injustice of the “justice” system, and how it has now let this monster continue to think of himself as having done very little damage to those poor boys that he preyed on. I pray that all his supporters and associates are smart enough to keep their young teens far away from him. A sex offender in denial is a menace to innocence.

    Does this mean that he will not be entered on the sex offender registry after all?

  3. Leona says:

    I’m completely baffled by the lack of understanding of this crime. He is confined to his residence except for work or religious observances. Can you believe it???? What concerns me is that his supporters have grandchildren. If they don’t believe he’s a threat, then they’re not going to be able to keep children safe. There’s an implication to me on the part of the judge that she doesn’t see him as a threat. Does no one understand how this crime works!!!!
    He is required to register as a sex offender and will be on the registry for 10 years. By that time the grandchildren will have grown up and be the perfect age.

    • Sylvia says:

      There really is a total lack of understanding Leona. You are so right. Were it otherwise we in Canada wouldn’t be gasping time after time after at the “Tut. Tut. Bad boy” ‘sentences meted out to molesters across Canada – from one judge to the next to the next. “We” have learned to be ‘happy’ with a conviction or guilty plea, and pray that sentencing will in some small way reflect the horror of the crime and the desire we as a society have to protect our children while ensuring that those predators who harm them will be held accountable and put behind bars for a good long time. It doesn’t happen. We have a long way to go in Canada.

      As for having him on the sex offender registry – the general public can’t access the registry. If Father – yes, this man is still a priest! – Phil Jacobs moves to some little corner of the country where no one knows him, what good is it to parents that his name is on the registry? If parents don’t know that he is a child molester, well – they just don’t know and their children are at risk. Fine, his name is on the registry – but, what does that do to protect children before the damage is done? Will the registry ensure that parents know that their children are at risk with this man around? No. Absolutely not.

      Yes, there are without doubt some pros to the registry. When a child disappears, or is murdered, or raped, police can check the registry to see who’s in the area who might be responsible.

      What are we doing to protect children from this predatory priest?

      And, meanwhile, what is the Victoria Diocese doing to get this convicted molester out of the priesthood? Have they been twiddling thumbs waiting for this trifle of a sentence to be handed down before they swing into action? or, dare we hope that common sense has descended on the diocesan centre and the wheels in motion right now to get this disgrace to the priesthood defrocked?

      I pray for all the victims and their families – this is so hard on them – such a slap in the face. First a slap in the face when Father Jacobs was dumped upon them and nary a word of warning. And now this.

  4. B says:

    I heard Bishop Richard Gagnon say on the radio that Jacobs will not be allowed to work as a parish priest again, because the Victoria diocese will not give him the permission to work in a diocese elsewhere. Yet, if Jacobs plans to return to the States once he has served his sentence, as his lawyer indicated, then he’ll be even further from that Canadian sex offender registry.

    I also heard that Bishop Gagnon has sent an inquiry to Rome once the guilty verdict was delivered, to find out how the Vatican wanted to proceed. And the longer it takes to get an answer, the angrier parishoners here are becoming. Besides which, it seems like such an easy way for the Bishop to pass on any responsibility or leadership.

  5. Cheryl Biggs says:

    Although I, too, am disappointed (disgusted) by the apparent failure of our legal system to make Mr Jacobs accountable for his actions, I am equally concerned about the action that the Catholic Church will take (or not). Although Mr. Jacobs will ultimately be held accounable for actions (as will we all); in the interim, how can an organization that claims to be a proponent of social justice, not take a stand and punish the actions of this man, a representative of the Church? I look forward to reading about the actions that the Bishop (and ultimately, the Pope, I guess) will take.

  6. Patti says:

    This whole circumstance is so sad and should have never happened in the first place.
    My thoughts and prayers are with the family/families and can’t imagine how much damage has been done in regards to faith, trust, believing your children are safe………
    With the church knowing that this is not the case.

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