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Attempted kayak escapee receives two years in prison

State had alleged man planned to flee the country with girl

Posted: Thursday, November 13, 2008

A convicted sex offender who tried to skip town in a kayak has been sentenced to two years in prison for violating his probation and failing to register as a sex offender.

Erik Jacobsen, 39, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in Juneau Superior Court last month and 6 months in prison in Juneau District Court earlier this month.

According to court records, Jacobsen spent three days kayaking south to Ketchikan last May before he was picked up by Alaska State Troopers near Holkham Bay, which is south of Juneau.

Jacobsen was wearing a "cheap" life-preserver and jeans and a T-shirt when he was stopped by troopers, Assistant District Attorney Angie Kemp said.

Jacobsen had been out of contact with his probation officer for several months before, and a warrant had been issued for his arrest before he tried to leave town. He'd also drastically altered his appearance by losing weight and changing his hair color, Kemp said.

Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg said he's never seen a more "elaborate" plan to abscond from a probation officer's supervision.

"It's a pretty calculated plan," Pallenberg said. "It's not somebody who is planning to come back, I think, when you get in a kayak and you're paddling out of town after being out of contact with you probation officer for some months."

Pallenberg said Jacobsen has "an unhealthy attraction to minors."

The state alleged that Jacobsen's plan was to take a ferry in Ketchikan to Washington state where he would kidnap a young girl and "flee" to Mexico. Jacobsen pleaded guilty to assaulting the same girl, who was 3 at the time of the assault, in 2005.

Jacobsen said in court that he was not trying to kidnap anyone, but wanted to get to Southern California to visit his father.

"I don't know where they came up with that one," he said.

Jacobsen said he stopped meeting with his probation officer because he felt "overburdened." He added that he'd been "hassled" by probation staff at his work.

Jacobsen was originally put on probation after pleading guilty to attempting to sexually abuse a 9-year-old girl in 2000. For that crime, Jacobsen first received a 6-month prison sentence, which Pallenberg augmented by 18 months.

Jacobsen also fathered a child in Oregon with a 16-year-old girl when he was 29-years-old, according to court records.

• Contact reporter Alan Suderman at 523-2268 or e-mail alan.suderman@juneauempire.com.



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