The story of corrupt Bedford Municipal Court Judge Harry J. Jacob and the girls from the prostitution ring he was involved with graced the cover of Scene a few issues back ("The Brothel of Bedford: The Prostitution Bust and the Corrupt Officials Who Went Down with It," Jan. 29 - Feb. 4 issue). Today, a Cuyahoga County grand jury indicted Jacob on five more charges, in addition to his original indictment in December.
The new charges: two counts of tampering with evidence (third degree felonies) and one count each of tampering with records (third degree felony), possessing criminal tools (fifth degree felony), and failure to report a felony (fourth degree misdemeanor).
For reference, visit page three of the Scene story:
Given enough time and the willpower to cross-reference subpoenas with old court records and interviews, you'll find a distinct pattern of Judge Jacob giving favorable treatment to prostitutes from Studio 54 who happened upon his courtroom.
The new charges seem to relate to the information in that section of the story. Click here to see Jacob's original indictment from December (starting on page 4). Here's a breakdown of the new charges and their potential significance to the investigation:
Charge: Tampering with Records - F3
Date of Offense: April 20, 2012
Details: "... did knowing he had no privilege to do so, and with the purpose to defraud or knowing he was facilitating a fraud on Bedford Municipal Court and/or Orange Village, falsify, destroy, remove, conceal, alter, deface, or mutilate any writing, computer software, data, or record, to wit: Journal Entry, and the writing, data, computer software, or record was kept by or belonged to a local, state, or federal government entity."
Context and potential significance (according to us): One of the women Jacob was seeing from the Walsh building received a traffic ticket in Orange in 2010, and a subsequent contempt of court charge when she did nothing about it. This new charge is likely related to that: he must have trashed a document from her case file on the same day he dismissed the contempt charge on that April 12, 2012, the same day he is accused by prosecutors of accepting sex as a bribe, promoting prostitution, "inducing" or "procuring" two women for prostitution, among other things (details in original story).
Charge: Tampering With Evidence - F3
Date of Offense: April 20, 2012
Details: "... did knowing that an official proceeding or investigation was in progress, or was about to be or likely to be instituted, alter destroy, conceal, or remove any record, document, or thing, with the purpose to impair its value or availability as evidence in such proceeding or investigation."
Context and potential significance (according to us): See above.
Charge: Tampering with Evidence - F3
Date of Offense: November 2-4, 2013
Details: "... did knowing that an official proceeding or investigation was in progress, or was about to be or likely to be instituted, alter, destroy, conceal, or remove any record, document, or thing, with purpose to impair its value or availability as evidence in such proceeding or investigation."
Context and potential significance (according to us): This alleged crime occurred more than a month after the Walsh Building was raided and its owner, Jim Walsh, was busted for running the prostitution ring. It's also more than a month before Jacob was eventually indicted (for the first time), around the time he must have felt some serious heat from county, state, and federal investigators. He would've known what records they'd be looking for.
Charge: Failure To Report A Felony - M4
Date of Offense: July 1, 2013
Details: "... did, knowing that a felony had been or was being committed, knowingly fail to report information to law enforcement."
Context and potential significance (according to us): Unknown.
Charge: Possessing Criminal Tools - F5
Date of Offense: April 18, 2012 - Nov. 4, 2013
Details: "... did possess or have under the person's control and substance, device, instrument, or article, to wit: cellular telephone, computer with purpose to use it criminally. FURTHERMORE, the cellular telephone, computer involved in the offense were intended for use in the commission of a felony, to wit: 291312(A)(2), and/or 2921.12(A)(1), and/or 2907.22(A)(2), and/or 2907.22(A)(4)."
Context and potential significance (according to us): If you use a phone or computer to organize a crime, like prostitution, you now possess criminal tools, and that's a crime.
Here's a copy of today's indictment (and click here to read his first indictment, alongside Bedford law director Ken Schuman):