Father Phil Jacobs trial expected to wrap today

Warning: This story contains graphic details.

The presentation of evidence in the B.C. Supreme Court trial of Father Phil Jacobs is expected to wrap up today.

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Jacobs, who is charged with four sexual offences involving boys while he was working as a Roman Catholic priest, spent all of Tuesday on the stand after beginning his testimony Monday afternoon.

The 63-year-old Jacobs is accused of offences against three boys between September 1996 and June 2001.

He was parish priest at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church from 1997 to 2002.

Much of Jacobs’s testimony in the judge-alone trial has been in response to questioning from defence lawyer Chris Considine.

Jacobs has acknowledged impropriety with two youths in his native Ohio about three decades ago — he convinced them to masturbate in front of him in separate incidents — but said therapy has prevented him from falling into the pattern that could make such a thing happen again.

“When I looked at my past, I saw a pattern,” Jacobs said. “I saw a compulsion that had a very clear script to it.”

The script included trying to get someone alone for about 18 hours, he said, a period of time that would include an overnight visit.

He told Crown prosecutor Clare Jennings that he realizes he will have to give his behaviour lifelong attention.

But Jacobs once again denied all of the current charges against him, including two counts of sexual interference involving a person under 14, one count of sexual assault and one count of touching a young person for a sexual purpose.

He did admit to bringing up the subject of masturbation with one boy, but said that was as far as it went. He said he “slipped back” in that instance, but immediately caught himself.

Jacobs left St. Joseph in 2002 after details about his time in Ohio surfaced. After that, he said, he began concentrating on an academic career.

“I realized that it was no longer feasible for me serving within a public ministry within the Catholic Church.”

jwbell@timescolonist.com

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