Authorities arrested a former North Bay mayor on Sunday for allegedly conducting child sex abuse.

Police took the suspect, Robert Jacob, who served as the Sebastopol mayor, into custody in Sonoma County after reports of alleged sexual assaults involving a minor were sent at the end of the last month.

Sexual Assault Charges

Authorities charged the former mayor with five felony counts, including the distribution of child pornography and a misdemeanor related to sexual assault crimes involving an individual under the age of 16. Police are currently holding Jacob without bail.

The Sebastopol police issued a statement that revealed Jacob’s alleged crimes occurred between December 2019 and March 2021. Sebastopol Police Chief Kevin Kilgore said one victim, who remained anonymous due to their age, testified against the suspect as the investigations continue.

“It’s traumatic for our community, it’s traumatic for the survivor of the sexual assault, it’s traumatic for everyone and it weights a toll on our community,” said Kilgore.

From 2012 to 2016, Jacob was a member of Sebastopol’s city council. He was later appointed to be the mayor of the city at the end of 2013. His term lasted for one year before stepping down from his city council position in 2016.

Jacob previously served as the former CEO of Sparc, a Bay Area dispensary service, openly supporting cannabis. Currently, he serves as the head of his own consulting firm.

Founder and current CEO of Sparc, Erich Pearson, criticized Jacon and his alleged misdeeds in a Facebook post on Saturday. Pearson called Jacob’s crimes “horrible and unconscionable.” He said he previously worked for the company around the same time Jacob was on the city council, from July 2012 to March 2016.

“These abuses of power have no place in our communities nor our society, and have gone on for far too long,” Pearson said, the San Francisco Gate reported.