Warning: This article contains details sexually explicit in nature.
Former Sebastopol mayor and cannabis-dispensary operator Robert Jacob was arrested on suspicion of charges related to sex with a minor Saturday.
According to Chief Kilgore, Sebastopol police learned of possible sexual assaults perpetrated against an underage victim. The department launched an investigation on March 30 and identified Jacob as the alleged perpetrator, arresting him at his home on Woodland Avenue in Sebastopol on April 10 and took him into custody at the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility where he is being held without bail.
The alleged assaults occurred between Dec. 2019 and March 2021, according to the Sebastopol Police Department.
The charges include five felonies and one misdemeanor: lewd or lascivious acts against a child under 14; transporting a child under 16 for the purpose of lewd and lascivious acts; showing or sending harmful material to seduce a minor; harmful matter sent to seduce a minor; arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes; and forcible sexual penetration with a foreign object.
Jacob served on the Sebastopol City Council beginning in 2012, when he won 2,335 votes out—more votes than any other candidate. The council appointed him vice mayor in 2012 and mayor in 2013, each for one-year terms. Jacob left office in Dec. 2016.
Members of the current Sebastopol City Council did not respond to a request for comment.
On Saturday, an anonymous source came forward and told The Community Voice that Jacob used the gay dating app Grindr, where he displayed interest in BDSM. Through messages reviewed by this reporter, Jacob told the source that men came from all over the world to learn to be sexually submissive under his mentorship. Jacob extended an invitation to come to his home and participate in BDSM sexual activity with a visitor of an unknown age.
Photos sent to the source and seen by this reporter showed an image of Jacob associated with the account. Other photos linked to the account associated with that image showed men in various degrees of undress and bondage. In one photo, a man’s back is used
as a footstool. In another, a man is shown blind-folded, bound and gagged with “RJ’s fag" written on his skin in black marker.
Messages between Jacob and the source suggest Jacob would regularly recruit men from the area to participate in sexual activities with his guests.
Chief Kilgore said the Sebastopol Police Department had not known about Jacob’s online activities, which have not played a role in their investigation. Currently, there is no evidence Jacob’s online sexual behavior has played a role in this or other criminal activity, or if Jacob organized any criminal activity with other men through the app.
Chief Kilgore asks anyone with information on this case to contact the Sebastopol Police Department.
“The investigation is ongoing. We encourage anyone who may have information to contact us. Even if someone thinks it’s not important, they should send us any information they have,” Kilgore said.
Those with any information that could be pertinent to the case are advised to contact the Sebastopol Police Department at 707-829-4400.