Brunswick County man pleads guilty to attempted sexual assault in Wilmington

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Clarence Jacobs
Clarence Jacobs

A Brunswick County man was sentenced to more than 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple charges, including attempted rape and kidnapping, on Tuesday.

Clarence Cornelius Jacobs Jr. 30, was scheduled to go to trial this week in New Hanover County Superior Court on charges of attempted first-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping, assault inflicting physical injury by strangulation and breaking and entering, according to a news release from District Attorney Ben David.

But before trial got underway, “the defendant informed the court that he would be pleading guilty,” David said.

Jacobs went into a 27-year-old woman’s home on Racine Drive while she was out walking her dog on June 4, 2014. When the victim returned to the home, Jacobs attempted to sexually assault the woman, according to David.

“He removed the victim’s clothing, he slapped her across the face and strangled her while slamming her head against the headboard,” David said. “The defendant held the victim’s 4-pound Yorkie by the neck, threatening to slam him into the wall if the victim did not comply.”

During the assault, the woman called her boyfriend, but the call was disconnected. The phone re-dialed her boyfriend’s number, and a voice mail of the attack was recorded while her boyfriend was on the phone with 911.

The recording captured “the terror that the victim experienced,” Assistant District Attorney Connie Jordan said.

Jacobs tied the woman’s pants to two doorknobs to confine her to the bedroom while he searched the house for money.

“The victim jumped from a second-story window with her dog to flee the attack,” David said. “She ran to a nearby house, where she was able to borrow clothes to cover herself and call 911.”

Officers caught Jacobs but he escaped and ran from the scene, David said. He was captured again in the area of Cardinal and Oriole drives and taken into custody.

According to the N.C. Department of Corrections, Jacobs was convicted of taking indecent liberties with a child in Brunswick County on Aug. 17, 2004. He was registered as a sex offender for 10 years, according to the national registry. He was also convicted of 13 felonies, including larceny and breaking and entering.

Because of his criminal history, Jacobs was indicted with a habitual felon status, David said.

Superior Court Judge Benjamin Alford sentenced Jacobs 25 to 36 years in prison. Once he’s released from prison, Jacobs is required to register as a sexual offender and to wear a satellite-based monitoring device for the rest of his life.