Haines man acquitted in sex case

Posted: Sunday, September 03, 2000

After deliberating for three hours, a Juneau jury found a Haines man innocent Thursday of charges he slipped into the bed of a sleeping teen-age girl during a slumber party and sexually assaulted her last spring.

After a four-day trial before Superior Court Judge Patricia A. Collins, Zachary E. Jacobs, 23, was acquitted of first-degree sexual assault, second-degree sexual assault, first-degree burglary, harassment and first-degree trespassing.

It was alleged that in the early morning hours of April 8, Jacobs, while intoxicated, entered a residence in Haines where several young women ages 16 to 17 were holding a slumber party. It further was alleged Jacobs slipped into bed with a sleeping teen with whom he then had sex without her consent. After the assault, it was alleged by another teen that she went into the room and saw Jacobs on the bed with his trousers and underwear down around his thighs.

The original criminal complaint, filed April 13 in Haines District Court, was based on the statement of the victim, the statement of the teen witness, and investigation by the Haines Police Department.

Jacobs, a life-long resident of Haines, had worked as a deckhand on a commercial fishing boat. He is the son of Ann Jacobs, chief dispatcher for the Haines Police Department.

Former Haines Police officer Lee Reeves, who investigated the incident, said "too much time has passed" and he did not feel confident to remember details. Reeves was reached Friday at the Palmer Police Department where he now is employed.

Asked to comment on the verdict, Assistant District Attorney Susan S. McLean of Juneau said, "Our comment about these things is always the same: We have the highest regard for our system of justice, and we respect the jury's verdict."

Juneau attorney Louis Menendez handled Jacobs' defense.

"On behalf of the Jacobs family, they are happy that this episode is now over with and they can get on with their lives," Menendez said Friday.

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