The jury entered its fourth day of deliberation Wednesday in the trial of reproductive geneticist Cecil Jacobson, as his wife decided to return to Utah.
Joyce Jacobson told the press that three days of waiting for a verdict had been more stressful than the three-week trial of her husband, who faces 52 fraud and perjury counts.She said she was returning to take care of their children in Utah, who had been left with friends and family, and to see a new grandchild - but said she had hope the jury would acquit her husband.
Friends of Jacobson awaiting the verdict said they figured the longer the jury is out, the more likely it will acquit him. Prosecutor Randy Bellows disagreed, saying, "Once the jury is out three or four days, I don't know what that means."
Defense attorney James Tate said, though, "I think that they're going to find that this man was not a fraud and that all he did was work to help women have children."
Jacobson is accused of defrauding women into falsely believing they were pregnant only to later tell them they had had miscarriages and the fetuses had been reabsorbed into their bodies. Witnesses said Jacobson created at least 50 such bogus pregnancies.
Jacobson is also accused of lying to patients about inseminating them with his own sperm after having promised the donor would never know them or would be tall, thin or Jewish. One couple even expected that sperm used would come from the husband. Genetics test results indicate Jacobson fathered at least 15 of his patients' children.
Jacobson is also accused of lying about transferring assets into a trust when former patients started suing him for malpractice. The trust was called Jacobson Ziff, with "ziff" being a Book of Mormon word for treasure or precious metal.
Jacobson, a Sunday school teacher in Utah, had numerous neighbors and members of his church testify that he is a kind, caring man incapable of such fraud.