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Lawyer faces child sex abuse charges

Sun., Sept. 19, 2010, midnight

Suspicious fire burns his home; trial over tax returns nears

A North Idaho attorney is being held without bail in San Diego following allegations he sexually abused a teenage girl, including during “dates” at Southern California hotels.

David C. Jacquot, 52, also is under investigation in Bonner County for a suspicious fire that destroyed his rural home days after authorities learned of the abuse allegations.

Fire officials reportedly found more than 40 firearms, including a grenade launcher, while searching the remains of the anti-tax attorney’s scorched home in March. Authorities say the fire appeared to be arson.

A federal grand jury in San Diego indicted Jacquot last month on federal child exploitation charges. He was ordered held without bail at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Southern California earlier this month.

His lawyer, Michael Crowley, filed a notice of appeal Sept. 9. He did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Jacquot was indicted Aug. 13 on three counts of transportation of the minor, who lived in North Idaho, to engage in criminal sexual activity. Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall said he considered charging Jacquot with sex crimes under Idaho state law, but the federal charges carry much longer prison sentences.

Jacquot could face a maximum prison sentence of 90 years. But his standard sentencing range would be 12 to 15 years, according to court documents.

The charges come at the same time Jacquot is preparing for trial on federal accusations that he filed false tax returns in 2002 and 2003 while serving as vice president and general counsel for Xelan Inc., a financial management company.

Jacquot is licensed to practice law in Idaho but did most of his work in the San Diego area, Marshall said.

His now-defunct website described him as an aggressive “tax hero” who served nine years in the U.S. Army before retiring because of injuries suffered during the Gulf War. He graduated from Oregon State University in 1984 and earned a law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law in 1989. He practiced law in Coeur d’Alene, according to his website, and also kept an office in San Diego.

Federal agents raided that office in 2007 while investigating accusations that Jacquot understated his earnings by more than $250,000. He was allowed to stay out of jail pending trial but was given strict release conditions, including that he not possess firearms.

He was jailed in Bonner County about a month after a fire ripped through his home at 2041 Bandy Road, about 15 miles north of Spirit Lake.

The blaze occurred days after the Bonner County Sheriff’s Department learned of the abuse allegations lodged against Jacquot.

In March, the teen told her high school counselor that David Jacquot had been sexually abusing her. Federal prosecutors say David Jacquot began raping the girl several years ago.

He is accused of flying her from Spokane to San Diego three times in May and June 2006 “with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity with her.”

Federal investigators say Jacquot stayed with the girl at hotels and rented sexually explicit movies.



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