A man who prosecutors say engaged in the grooming of a minor was sentenced to prison during his 1st District Court appearance on Monday.
Brandon Keith Jacobs, 37, was sentenced to 1-15 years in the Utah State Prison for incidents with a minor alleged to have happened in October.
Judge Brian Cannell said Jacobs’ “disturbing behavior” warranted a prison sentence. Since Jacobs had failed to complete a prior, much easier stint with probation for unrelated charges nearly 20 years ago, Cannell said he was no longer a candidate for probation. Cannell was hopeful Jacobs could access treatment in prison.
“Treatment only works if you own it,” Cannell said.
During Jacobs’ appearance, defense attorney Ryan Holdaway argued a jail sentence for his client and treatment. Holdaway told the court Jacobs had been very cooperative throughout the process — never minimizing the allegations or shifting blame but consistently taking responsibility. According to Holdaway, the recommendation for prison was intended to facilitate sex offender treatment by way of the prison system, however, the waitlist to enter such programs is lengthy.
Jacobs addressed the court prior to sentencing.
“I accept full responsibility,” Jacobs said. “I did something horrible, and I throw myself at the mercy of the court.”
Cache County prosecutor Dane Murray asked the court for a prison sentence, citing the facts of the case and Jacobs’ failure to comply with probation in the past.
“It was grooming behavior,” Murray said. “The state believes this case absolutely warrants prison.”
On Nov. 16, Jacobs pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, third-degree enticing a minor by internet or text and third-degree unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old. As per a plea agreement, 12 felonies and misdemeanors were dismissed in exchange for the plea.
According to documents filed with the court, Jacobs engaged in “sexting” with a teenage victim while also sending and receiving “pornographic material.” Documents state Jacobs also engaged in a physical sexual act with the victim on one occasion. A probable cause affidavit filed with court states Logan City Police officers arrested Jacobs after using the victim’s phone to facilitate a meeting.
Jacobs was booked into the Cache County Jail on Oct. 23.