Former Sebastopol mayor arrested for sex crimes gets pre-trial release

By Camille Escovedo, Staff Writer, SoCoNews, April 21, 2021

robert jacob

Trigger warning: This article contains details of sexual assault that may be troubling to readers and to sexual assault survivors.

Former Sebastopol mayor Robert Jacob was granted a pretrial release at his April 15 hearing that included a bail argument, according to Sonoma Superior Court records online. Jacob has a plea hearing scheduled for May 6, facing 11 felony charges related to an ongoing child sexual assault investigation.

The court’s online records on Jacob’s case show his pretrial release was classified at Level 3. Some of the interim conditions of his pretrial release require that Jacob wear a GPS-monitoring device, make zero contact with minors and comply with “warrantless search and seizure of, person, property, effects, business or vehicle at any time of day or night,” as well as “warrantless search and seizure of residence any time of day or reasonable hour of night by any Probation Officer or Law Enforcement Officer.”

Jacob cannot leave the state without the court’s permission and other orders listed in addition to the conditions include penal code 1546.1, “search and seizure of all electronic devices, providing passwords/passcodes to law enforcement as directed,” according to the April 15 hearing’s minute orders provided by the court.

The Sonoma Superior Court’s online records list that a notice of electronic device search condition (PC1546.1) was filed on April 15. As of April 14, according to those online records, Jacob’s bail set at $620,000.

Sonoma West Times & News is awaiting response from Chris Andrian, Jacob’s lawyer from Gallenson & Gaskell Criminal Defense Litigation who was unavailable for comment as of April 21.

Cofounder of Peace in Medicine, Sebastopol’s first cannabis dispensary, Jacob was appointed mayor from December 2013 to December 2014 during his one term on the Sebastopol City Council from 2012 to 2016, according to Mary Gourley, Sebastopol city clerk and assistant city manager.

Sebastopol police officers were informed on March 30 about sexual assaults that may have taken place in the city from December 2019 to March of this year, according to an April 10 Sebastopol Police Department (SPD) press release.

The investigation led police to arrest Jacob on April 10 on suspicion of five felony and one misdemeanor sexual assault crimes against a child, per the press release. Police Chief Kevin Kilgore said the investigation continues, with one victim identified so far.

He was taken to the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility that day, detained without bail at that time, the press release said.

Per court records, Jacob has been charged for one count of sexual penetration with a child under 16 years-old, five counts of lewd acts with a child age 14 or 15 being 10 years older than the minor and two counts of coming into the possession of a child under 16 years-old for lewd or lascivious acts.

The charges also include one count for communication with a minor to commit an offense, one count for arranging to meet a child for lewd acts and one count related to the distribution of child pornography.

This article was produced by SoCoNews. See more news at soconews.org