The man police say faked his own death and hid from authorities to avoid arrest on child sex charges was sentenced Thursday to 85 years in prison without parole.
Jacob Blair Scott, 45, was found guilty of all 14 child sex charges he faced.
Scott Vanished Days Before Pleading Guilty in Sexual Assault Case Involving 14-Year-Old Girl
In 2020, Scott, a military veteran and a Purply Heart recipient, was arrested and was charged with sexual battery, touching a child for lustful purposes, and exploitation of a child.
As reported by the Sun Herald, the 14-year-old victim testified that she became pregnant by Scott after being sexually assaulted at least 30 times between 2016 and 2017. She said that when she told
He later became the subject of a national manhunt in 2018 after he vanished just days before he was scheduled to plead guilty to the charges. U.S. Marshals added him to its Top 15 Most Wanted list, describing him as a survivalist and military veteran with the knowledge to live off the grid.
Scott Tried to Make it Appear Like He Committed Suicide
On July 2018, investigators found his abandoned dinghy floating in the Gulf of Mexico near Orange Beach, Alabama. A gun and a suicide note with contact information for Scott's family was found on the boat. However, it was part of an elaborate scene authorities say Scott set up to fake his own death in order to evade sexual assault charges.
Only a very small amount of blood was found in the dinghy and investigators said no evidence indicated it was a true suicide. Officials also became suspicious of the staged scene from the beginning and quickly discovered that Scott had emptied his bank account of $45,000.
After nearly 18 months on the run, a tip led investigators to an RV in Pushmataha County, Oklahoma, where they found Scott living under an alias.
Scott Blamed Failed Marriage, Mental State After Military Duty, Victim for the Sexual Assaults
Scott reportedly tried to blame his mental state after military duty, a failing marriage, a collapsed relationship with his child and the victim for the sexual assaults. However, prosecutors shot down those allegations.
"This is the first time in my 18 years I have ever seen anything so brazen and so vile,"District Attorney Angel Myers McIlrath said of his attempt at a defense. "This is about blaming the 14-year-old. This whole trial was about humiliating the 14-year-old who had no choice" about what happened to her.
"Life is hard," she said. "It's hard for everybody. It is hard, right? It makes us who we are. It's what you do when life is hard that matters." "If you don't like your (your companion, leave) her," she said. "If you don't have sex..., you know there are options. "You know what isn't an option? Having sex with ... (a 14-year-old girl)."
Circuit Judge Kathy King Jackson also ordered Scott to pay a $10,000 in fines in addition to the sentence. "The evidence is overwhelming," Jackson said. "It's more evidence than I've probably ever seen (in a case). "