[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
A Mississippi man who faked his own death to avoid the legal consequences of allegedly sexually assaulting his 14-year-old stepdaughter has finally been sentenced — and no wonder he was worried about the verdict!
Jacob Blair Scott, a 45-year-old Purple Heart recipient for his service in Iraq, was found guilty of child exploitation, four counts of touching a child for lustful purposes, and nine counts of sexual battery earlier this week. He has now been ordered to spend 85 years in prison and pay $10,000 in fines! Jackson County Circuit Judge Kathy King Jackson said he’d practically be serving a life sentence. Whoa…
For those unfamiliar, this legal matter all began in July 2018. At the time, Jacob was out on bond but failed to show up to a scheduled court hearing. Investigators then found Scott’s small boat off the coast of Orange Beach, Alabama. He had left a gun and a suicide note on the boat, but little forensic evidence turned up to prove his death. After a week-long search, no remains were found. Officials soon discovered that he had taken $45,000 out of a bank account before disappearing — leading them to believe that he was still alive, according to the US Marshals.
After not being able to find him for several years, Jacob was placed on the US Marshals 15 Most Wanted Fugitive List in January 2020. They offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. Less than a day later, the fugitive was found living in a mobile home park in Oklahoma under another name.
During trial, his victim testified that Jacob had sexually assaulted her at least 30 times between 2016 and 2017. He only stopped when she got pregnant with a baby she gave birth to, she claimed.
But the military veteran tried to blame his actions on mental illness, pleading with the judge to take his mental health into consideration, claiming that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress, heavily medicated, and had relationship issues at the time of the assault that made him lack proper judgment.
According to The Sun Herald, he also claimed the young girl had been coming on to him — as if that warranted his actions as a full-grown adult! SMH. He said:
“She wanted me to scratch her back.”
Arguing that was the reason he allegedly sexually abused her, he continued:
“I had sex with [her] because she came on to me.”
The judge clearly didn’t see it this way and said during his sentencing:
“The evidence is overwhelming. It’s more evidence than I’ve probably ever seen.”
District Attorney Angel Myers McIlrath also called his actions “brazen and so vile,” sharing in court:
“This is about blaming the 14-year-old. This whole trial was about humiliating the 14-year-old who had no choice.”
Just so disgusting. Now he has a looong time behind bars to reflect on his actions. Here’s to hoping this decision brings some sense of peace and justice to the young victim.
[Image via US Marshals]