Fr. James E. Jacobson – Diocese of San Jose

Father James Jacobson

Diocese of San Jose (Jesuits)

James Jacobson Diocese of San Jose Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1959

Removed: 2005

Dead: 2017

Assignment History:

  • 1959-1960: Alma College (Los Gatos, CA)
  • 1960-1961: Manresa Hall (Port Townsend, WA)
  • 1962-1965: St. Joseph’s (Nelson Island, Tununak)
  • 1966-1967: St. Michael (St. Michael’s, AK)
  • 1967-1970: Holy Family (Glennallen, AK)
  • 1970-1976: Little flower of Jesus (Hooper Bay, AK)
  • 1976-1977: (Berkeley, CA)
  • 1977-1979: (Oakland, CA)
  • 1979-2005: Oregon State Penitentiary (Salem, OR)
  • 2005-2012: Regis Community (Spokane, WA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father James Jacobson:

Fr. James Jacobson was ordained a priest of the Portland Province in 1959. He worked in remote Alaskan villages until 1976, and returned in 1979. During the time in between, he served in the Diocese of San Jose. Shortly after his return to Alaska, he became the chaplain of the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem until 2005.

According to media reports, in 2005, Fr. Jacobson was accused in a lawsuit of sexually assaulting two native Alaskan women, one in 1965 and the other in 1975. DNA results confirmed that the priest fathered two sons by the two women he sexually assaulted. One of the women and both adult children filed suit in 2005 against the Jesuits and Jacobson in an attempt to collect past child support.

In 2006, Jacobson was named in a lawsuit alleging that he raped a 16-year-old girl in 1967, in a remote Alaskan village. The girl reportedly told two Jesuits at the time, but nothing was done. The Order reportedly knew in 1967 of “very serious moral charges” against him. 

In 2007, other claims were settled with the Jesuits. Jacobson admitted to fathering four children, sexual involvement with seven Alaskan village women, and to visiting prostitutes during trips to Anchorage and Fairbanks. 

According to bankruptcy reorganization documents filed by the Diocese of Fairbanks in 2010, there have been at least two other claims of abuse implicating Jacobson. Jacobson died in 2017. His whereabouts and whether he had access to children until his death are unknown.

On Jesuit West Province list 12/7/18. It notes abuse 1968-70 and 1969-71, reported 2004, 2007 and 2009.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of San Jose in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in one of California’s Catholic dioceses, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of San Jose now have legal options due to a temporary change in the law, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us toll-free at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.