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The charges led at least two dozen other men to say Jacobs molested them for decades while he taught at Blake School and Breck and served as a counselor at the YMCA’s Camp Warren.
Covin, now 52 and retired as an eye doctor, became friendly with Jacobs because he was a “science geek” and Jacobs would have him do cool projects after school, he said. The projects eventually took place at Jacobs’ house on weekends and sometimes included sleepovers.
“My parents were divorced at the time, and it was easy for him to become a father figure and take me under his wing,” he said.
Jacobs sexually abused him more than 50 times and it only stopped when he left Breck, Covin said.
Before Jacobs was hired at Breck, he worked at Blake School and was caught molesting a student, Anderson said. He did the same at Breck, and the victim and his father told headmaster John Littleford about it, Anderson said.
“Jacobs was simply warned not to do it again,” the attorney said. “He was mandated to report it to law enforcement. He made a choice to protect the school’s reputation.”
The mandatory reporting statute became law in 1975, after the date on which Littleford previously told the Star Tribune that Jacobs’ employment at Breck was terminated. He also denied knowing about Jacobs’ past before he came to the school.
‘Scars will remain’
In June 2012, Anderson took a deposition from Jacobs in prison. They agreed that Anderson wouldn’t collect any judgments against him if he told the truth about his sexual past. Jacobs talked about his incident with the student at Breck who later came forward and about his abuse of Covin, Anderson said.
“If Jacobs did anything right, it was sitting down with Anderson and owning up to his crimes,” Covin said. “The ball was dropped so many different places.”
He was so ashamed of what Jacobs did to him that he “buried it so deep and never told anybody,” he said. He wondered if he had somehow brought the abuse on himself. When a classmate from Breck called him with the news that Jacobs had been arrested, Covin finally felt comfortable enough to share his secret.
Covin demanded that the apology be part of the settlement, or he would take his suit to court and reject mediation.
“Breck’s failures of the past can’t be disowned,” Anderson said. “Scars will remain.”
David Chanen • 612-673-4465