Second man faces charges in investigation into sexual misconduct involving Bloomington teen

Dylan Jacobs

UPDATE: 

Dylan Jacobs pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct with a minor on Aug. 14, 2018 and was sentenced to two years of probation.

ORIGINAL STORY:

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.– A second man faces charges in connection with an investigation into sexual misconduct involving a teenager.

Dylan Jacobs, 19, faces two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor.

Court documents show the investigation started on March 27 after Bloomington police were notified by staff at a middle school that a 14-year-old student said she was having a possibly inappropriate relationship with an adult male, identified as Jacobs.

The two met on a social media app called Whisper. They would occasionally go do things together like shopping and eventually had sex. She told police Jacobs would frequently tell her to delete their communications, which included nude photos.

When officers spoke to Jacobs, they say he initially downplayed the relationship. Court documents show he admitted to having sex with her when he knew she was 14 years old, “but thought he was protected under the Romeo and Juliet Clause.”

In Indiana, the age of consent is 16 years old, but the Romeo and Juliet Clause under Indiana law decriminalizes consensual sex between teenagers in a dating relationship if they are within four years age difference. In this case, Jacobs is five years older than the girl.

After allegedly admitting to sexual acts with the girl on two occasions, he was arrested.

Jacobs isn’t the first man arrested as part of this investigation.

Robert Sears

On March 29, Bloomington police arrested Bloomington Fire Department (BFD) Captain Robert Sears, 44, on two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and one count of child solicitation.

They discovered messages from him on the girl’s Whisper app while investigating Jacobs. The detective investigating the case described the messages as “quite vulgar and graphic in describing sexual activity.”

The  detective began to pose as the teen and led Sears to believe he was going to meet with her at her friend’s house while her parents were away. Police say he told the “teen” he would purchase condoms on the way.

He was arrested and allegedly admitted to participating in sexual activity with the 14-year-old girl on two previous occasions.

After the arrest, Sears was placed on administrative duties that prevent him from having contact with the public pending formal charges.

On Thursday, Sears tendered his resignation and it was accepted immediately by the fire department and the city, avoiding the termination process.

Chief Moore issued this statement:

“The actions of Robert Sears have shaken the Department and the community we serve. With his resignation, we will be able to quickly fill the vacancy his departure creates, allowing us to continue providing the excellent public safety services our community expects.”