Former Bay Area mayor and cannabis entrepreneur convicted of child sex crimes – San Francisco Chronicle

A former Sebastopol mayor, Robert Jacob, was convicted of six felony crimes involving the sexual abuse of a child this month.

Jacob, 45, pleaded no contest to the half-dozen counts in Sonoma Superior Court on Jan. 20, capping a decade-long descent for the onetime cannabis entrepreneur and local politician, who was selected mayor by his colleagues in 2013.

The crimes Jacob pleaded to cover a gamut of illegal behavior, from contacting the victim with the intent to commit a specific offense, to arranging to meet the victim, to offering or providing transportation to the victim, to ultimately committing acts of sexual abuse against the victim, who was under the age of 15.

As a result of Jacob’s plea, five other felony counts were dismissed, Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office online records show.

The Press Democrat reported that the victim, age 16 by the time of the preliminary hearing last March,testified that he met Jacob on the Grindr dating app, and that the two exchanged nude photos before Jacob escalated the relationship with knowledge that the victim was underage. The victim testified that Jacob gave him detailed instructions about what to do when he reached Jacob’s home on at least two occasions, and paid him $75 after each time.

Jacob, who is not being held in jail, is scheduled to return to court for sentencing on March 23, a little more than three years after his arrest by the Sebastopol Police Department.

Jacob, founder of the medical marijuana dispensary Peace in Medicine, was elected to the Sebastopol City Council in November 2012 and was selected mayor the next year. He served one term.

He is not the only Sonoma County politician to face credible accusations of sexual abuse.

Former Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli resigned from the town council in 2021 after a Chronicle investigation that uncovered accusations of sexual assault or misconduct against at least 14 women. The California Attorney General’s Office is reviewing the results of a criminal investigation opened by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office after The Chronicle’s reporting, while Foppoli is currently a defendant in a civil lawsuit brought by seven of his alleged victims.

Windsor is about 10 miles north of Sebastopol.

Raheem Hosseini is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: Twitter: @raheemfh

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