Jacob Blair Scott spent almost two years on the run before capture in early 2020
A US Army veteran, who faked his own death to avoid jail, was sentenced to 85 years on Thursday after being convicted of raping his 14-year-old stepdaughter.
Jacob Blair Scott, 45, was found guilty of repeated sexual attacks on the teenager, who testified that one assault ended in her falling pregnant.
Scott, a Purple Heart recipient from Moss Point, Mississippi, was originally accused of rape after the girl became pregnant in 2017.
However while out on bond in July 2018, Scott disappeared. Police later found a small boat with a handgun, suicide note, and “small amount” of blood off the coast of Orange Beach, Alabama.
US Marshals alert police departments of Scott’s disappearance and offered a $25,000 reward for his capture.
“During their search of Scott’s vessel, authorities found a gun and a note, but little forensic evidence indicating a suicide. A week-long search of the Gulf of Mexico was conducted for Scott’s body, but his remains were never found. Authorities later discovered Scott had withdrawn $45,000 from a bank account before his disappearance. The money was never recovered” a statement from US Marshalls read.
Scott was apprehended by authorities at an RV park in Oklahoma in January 2020.
He was extradited to Jackson County, Mississippi to stand trial. During the court proceedings Scott, who had served in Iraq, blamed his injuries sustained in the military, post-traumatic stress disorder and his failing marriage for his self-described “compromised mental state” when the abuse occurred.
“I was a good man,” he protested, according to AP. “This ain’t who I am.”
He wept on the stand as he attempted to blame the victim, who was 14 years old when the abuse began.
“She wanted me to scratch her back,” Mr Scott said, according to The Sun-Herald newspaper. “I had sex with [her] because she came on to me.”
The jury found him guilty of nine counts of sexual battery, four counts of sexually abusing a child, and one charge of exploiting a minor.
District Attorney Angel Myers McIlrath described Scott as “vile” during sentencing.
“This is the first time in my 18 years I have ever seen anything so brazen and so vile,” DA McIlrath said, according to The Associated Press.
“This is about blaming the 14-year-old. This whole trial was about humiliating the 14-year-old who had no choice.”
Scott showed little emotion during his sentencing. Judge Kathy King Jackson said the trial had “more evidence than I’ve probably ever seen”.