The former Sebastopol mayor, 45-year-old Robert Jacob, pleaded no contest to six counts of child sex crimes this month, the Press Democrat reported.
Jacob, the founder of a medical marijuana dispensary in Sebastopol, had been elected to the Sebastopol City Council in 2012, then selected as mayor the next year, becoming one of the first American mayors who had worked in the medical marijuana industry. He served one term and then went on a leave of absence from the position to take care of his mother, according to the Press Democrat, when the assaults were reported.
Robert Jacob, 45, was scheduled for a jury trial Friday, but reached a plea deal with the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office last week. https://t.co/kHQZJuQAhE— The Press Democrat (@NorthBayNews) January 27, 2023
Jacob pleaded no contest to six felony counts in a plea bargain to receive a reduced sentence of seven years in prison, then a lifetime on the registered sex offender list, the Chronicle also reported. The counts included procuring a child for lewd or lascivious acts; lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 15; sexual penetration with a foreign object; distribution or showing of harmful matter; contact or communication with a minor with the intent to commit a specified offense; and unlawfully arranging to meet a minor to engage in lewd and lascivious acts.
Authorities also reportedly said that five additional charges were dismissed based on the plea bargain.
According to the Press Democrat, the victim of the crimes testified in the preliminary hearing that the two met on the Grindr app and Jacob knew that the victim was underage. The victim reportedly said that he exchanged nude pictures with Jacob, met him at his home at least twice between 2019 and 2021 and had sexual contact, and that Jacob paid him $75 after each time.
Jacob had been released on bail but is scheduled to return to court for sentencing on March 23.
Image of Sebastopol City Hall via Google Map Streetview.