Former mayor charged with ‘horrible and unconscionable’ abuse of children

Robert Jacob Sebastopol mayor

Robert Jacob, the former gay mayor of Sebastopol, California, has been arrested on charges of child sexual abuse.

Jacob was being detained in the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Center on Sunday night without bond after he was arrested for the sexual assault of an adolescent, according to The Bay Area Reporter.

The alleged assaults occurred between December 2019 and March 2021, according to Sebastopol police chief Kevin Kilgore.

Jacob has been charged with five felonies and one misdemeanour, including making a child under 16 available to another person for lewd acts, committing a lewd act with a child aged 14 or 15 and distributing child abuse imagery.

He has also been charged with participating in the sexual penetration of a child under the age of 16.

Robert Jacob sexual assault allegations are ‘horrible and unconscionable’

Jacob served as mayor of Sebastopol, California for one term, beginning in 2013. He did not contest the election for a second term.

Since his term as mayor ended, Robert Jacob has built a career in the cannabis industry, with his cannabis company merging with a dispensary called SPARC in more recent years.

Erich Pearson, founder and chief executive of SPARC, said in a statement on social media that Jacob had not been “affiliated or associated with SPARC” for several years.

He described the allegations as “horrible and unconscionable”, adding: “These abuses of power have no place in our communities nor our society, and have gone on for far too long. Our hearts and support go out to the victim and their families, and we at SPARC wish to make a clear statement that we believe victims and survivors, and this behaviour in no way reflects on the culture and values that we hold dear.”

Jacob was arrested at around 7am on Saturday (10 April) after police received reports of sexual assault on 30 March, according to the Press Democrat.

Una Glass, who currently serves as mayor of Sebastopol, said the allegations were “very disappointing”.

“I hope the victims of anything that he has done are taken care (of)…. it’s extremely disappointing,” Glass said.