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Attorney General charges two priests from U.P. with child sexual abuse

LANSING — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Friday criminal sexual conduct charges have been filed against two more priests by her department’s Clergy Abuse Investigation Team.

Multiple charges have been filed in three Upper Peninsula counties against Gary Allen Jacobs and Roy Joseph, both former priests associated with the Catholic Diocese of Marquette.

Gary Allen Jacobs, 74, of Albuquerque, N.M., is charged with multiple criminal sexual conduct counts, with incidents reportedly occurring between Jan. 1, 1981, and Dec. 31, 1984, in Ontonagon County and between March 1, 1984, and April 30, 1984, in Dickinson County.

Jacobs faces a total of seven charges in two separate cases in Ontonagon County. He’s being charged with six counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a child between the ages of 13 and 16 and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a child between the ages of 13 and 16. In Dickinson County, Jacobs faces one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a person under 13 years old.

Jacobs faces up to life in prison and a lifetime of electronic monitoring for each of the first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges, and up to 15 years in prison for each second-degree criminal sexual conduct charge. He was arrested Friday, Jan. 17 in New Mexico and will face extradition to Michigan to face the charges.

Roy Joseph, 52, previously of Marquette, has been charged in Marquette County with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. The incident reportedly occurred on or about Feb. 21, 2006, while Joseph served as a priest in Marquette County. The felony crime is punishable by up to life in prison and a lifetime of electronic monitoring. He currently resides in India.

“Our team continues to vigorously pursue this investigation to ensure justice for the victims who courageously come forward and identify their abusers,” said Nessel. “Our team of investigators are working day in and day out to hold these defendants accountable.”

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