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Sex assault trial starts for former Saanich priest

The trial of a former priest charged with molesting minors will start next week if the case can move past a number of procedural hurdles.

Philip Jacobs, 62, appeared in Victoria Supreme Court this morning, 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, all within Saanich. Jacobs was arrested Aug. 4, 2010 and released on $25,000 bail.

Jacobs served as a parish priest at St. Joseph the Worker on Burnside Road West from 1998 to 2002. Prior to that he worked part-time from 1996 to 1998 at St. Rose of Lima in Sooke. In the early 1990s he worked as a priest in Colombus, Ohio.

Today in court, Chris Considine, one of Jacobs’ two defence lawyers, sought disclosure of more than 100 pages of Crown documents. Crown prosecutor Clare Jennings argued the pages are either irrelevant to the defence or privileged information.

The trial judge should rule tomorrow on the disclosure issue. The judge may also rule on whether the trial will proceed to a voir dire phase.

editor@saanichnews.com

 

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