Testimony ends at Phil Jacobs sexual abuse trial

Supreme Court justice to hear final arguments in January

A retired teacher for St. Joseph’s Catholic elementary school testified Thursday for the defence as the final witness at the ongoing Phil Jacobs sexual abuse trial.

During testimony on Dec. 11, one of the three complainants against Jacobs testified the priest molested him during his time as an altar server at Joseph the Worker church.

The witness testified to a time Jacobs molested him while preparing for altar server duties during a school mass in a room attached to the preparation room behind the altar.

The witness couldn’t remember how many times he performed as an altar server, but said it was more than once and spanned two school years. Overall, the witness said Jacobs molested him more than once and less than a dozen times.

On Thursday, Alice Valiquette, a retired but long-time teacher at St. Joseph’s, said she had the responsibility of selecting altar servers for school-wide masses, which happened about once per month, during school hours.

Valiquette testified that the complainant had served as an altar server at a school-wide mass only once.

She also noted that during preparation for mass, the room behind the altar was busy with students, and that the school principal was usually in the room chatting with Jacobs prior to the ceremony.

“While teaching and attending mass, did you observe any improprieties between Philip Jacob and (the complainant)?” asked Jacobs’ defence attorney Chris Considine.

“No,” Valiquette told Justice Miriam Gropper.

She couldn’t say if the complainant performed as an altar server for different ceremonies, such as a funeral mass or a parish mass, during questioning from Crown prosecutor Clare Jennings.

Jacobs, 63, is charged with sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference of a person under 14 and touching a young person for a sexual purpose.

The charges involve three minors under the age of 14, with alleged incidents spanning September 1996 to June 2001.

The trial will resume in Victoria Supreme Court on Jan. 8 for final defence and Crown submissions.

Media coverage of the trial has drawn the attention of people in Ohio, where Jacobs admitted during his trial here to sexually abusing young boys years ago.

Last Wednesday, the Columbus Dispatch newspaper reported that in 2010, Diocese of Columbus had received about 10 reports of abuse by Jacobs since 1993 and had passed all allegations on to police.

“For many years the Columbus Diocese has actively sought all information of any incidents of abuse by (Phil) Jacobs. As its ongoing policy, the Diocese of Columbus continues to encourage strongly anyone who may have experienced abuse from any clergy or others associated with the church to contact the diocesan victims-assistance coordinator … as well as notify the appropriate civil authorities,” Columbus diocese spokesman George Jones told the Dispatch.

editor@saanichnews.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

View Royal fire chief calls for realistic solutions to ‘mess’ at Thetis Lake

Emergency crews harassed while extinguishing brush fire, rescuing drunk 15-year-old during long weekend calls

Greater Victoria woman goes on gratitude mission to thank first responders

Jen Klein fainted while driving and crashed on Pat Bay Highway in 2019

Non-venomous ball python missing in Vic West

Snake was reported missing to Victoria police Tuesday morning

Crews respond to medical incident on West Saanich Road

Incident appears to be cleared, witnesses say

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

Most Read