Man who faked death gets 85 years for sexually assaulting teen

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) – A military veteran who once faked his own death to avoid criminal charges has been convicted of sexually assaulting a girl and impregnating her when he was 40 and she was 14.

A jury convicted Jacob Blair Scott of Moss Point, Mississippi, on Thursday. Jackson County Circuit Judge Kathy King Jackson sentenced him to 85 years in prison, saying it’s essentially a life sentence. She also ordered him to pay $10,000 in fines.

“The evidence is overwhelming,” Jackson said. “It’s more evidence than I’ve probably ever seen.”

The Sun Herald reported that Scott was dispassionate when a jury found him guilty of nine counts of sexual battery, four counts of touching a child for lustful purposes and one count of child exploitation.

Scott, 45, is a military veteran who was awarded a Purple Heart in 2011 for injuries sustained while serving in Iraq, according to the US Marshals Service, which once listed him as one of the 15 most wanted fugitives.

Scott would turn himself in on charges of assaulting the girl, but he pretended to be dead in July 2018 by leaving a small boat with a gun and a suicide note in Orange Beach, Alabama, WLOX-TV reported.

Authorities found little evidence of suicide but searched for a body in the Gulf of Mexico for more than a week. Scott was imprisoned in an Oklahoma RV park in early 2020, where he lived under another’s name.

At trial, the victim wept as she testified that Scott sexually assaulted her at least 30 times, starting in 2016 and ending in 2017 when she learned she was pregnant. She said she gave birth to the baby.

District Attorney Angel Myers McIlrath and Assistant District Attorney Justin Lovorn denounced Scott for trying to blame his mental state, a failing relationship and even the victim for the sexual assaults.

“This is the first time in my 18 years that I’ve ever seen something so brutal and so mean,” McIlrath said. “This is about blaming the 14-year-old. This whole process was about humiliating the 14-year-old who had no choice.”

Before being convicted, Scott blamed his mental health problems, post-traumatic stress and other disorders for affecting his mental state when he committed the crimes. He begged the judge to look at his medical record and see how heavily medicated and suffered from depression and relationship issues that he said clouded his judgment.

“I was a good man,” Scott said. “This is not who I am.”

McIrath called Scott’s defense a “hail Mary” tactic to try and get leniency. Before issuing the verdict, the judge said she did not believe Scott.


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