Former Sevastopol Mayor Robert Jacob pleaded not guilty to six counts of child sex crimes and will be sentenced to seven years in prison and the rest of his life as a registered sex offender.
Jacob, 45, was scheduled for a jury trial Friday, but reached a plea deal with the Sonoma County District Attorney during a readiness conference last week, said Andrew Lucas, chief deputy district attorney.
At a hearing in March, the victim, who is a minor, testified that she met Jacob through the dating app Grindr. He said Jacob knew he was underage but repeatedly touched him sexually, sent him nude photos and invited unknown men to have sex with him.
Jacob did not dispute the procuring of a child because of lewd or lascivious acts; lewd or lascivious acts with a child under the age of 15; sexual penetration with a foreign object; distribution or display of harmful substances; contact or communication with a minor with the intent to commit a specific criminal offense; and unlawfully arranging to meet with a minor for the purpose of engaging in lewd and lascivious acts.
He also acknowledged several aggravating factors: the victim was particularly vulnerable; induced others to participate in the crime; and committed the crime in a manner that suggests planning, sophistication or professionalism.
Five charges were dismissed under a plea agreement, Lucas said.
Jacob, who founded the medical marijuana dispensary Peace in Medicine, was elected to the City Council in 2012.
In 2013, he was elected mayor, making him one of the first mayors in the state with experience in the medical marijuana industry.
In March 2016, Jacob took a leave of absence to care for his ailing mother. He also stepped down from his leadership position at Peace in Medicine, which merged with another clinic in 2017.
The case came to light in 2021, when someone, possibly the victim or her parents, reported the sexual assault to child protective services, which turned it over to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, Sebastopol Police Chief Ron Nelson said.
Because the assaults, which occurred between December 2019 and March 2021, took place at Jacob’s home in Sevastopol, they were referred to Sevastopol police, who arrested him on April 10, 2021, Nelson said.
The district attorney’s office will not comment on the case before sentencing, Lucas said.
Jacob’s attorney, Chris Andrian, did not return calls seeking comment.
Jacob is scheduled to be sentenced on March 23 before Judge Christopher Honigsberg.
Staff writer Alana Minkler can be reached at 707-526-8531 or [email protected] On Twitter @alana_minkler.