Hope Votaw, a teen who was considering fleeing her family after having problems with her mother, found support in an internet buddy.
Trusting that individual, on the other hand, would prove to be a disastrous decision for Hope.
‘Web of Lies: Stolen Youth,’ a documentary on Investigation Discovery, tells the storey of a teenager who was pushed into sex trafficking and later abandoned by William Bernard Jacobs and an accomplice.
So, if you’re wondering where he is right now, we’ve got you covered.
Who is William Bernard Jacobs, and Where did he come from?
Hope was 14 years old and preparing to graduate from middle school in Allen, Texas, in the spring of 2012. She was living with her mother and stepfather at the time, but she was having troubles at home.
Hope, according to the show, struggled to establish friends at school and sought solace from strangers online. At that time, the adolescent encountered Shayla Williams, a single mother.
Hope informed her that she was 19 years old, and the two appeared to become fast friends. Shayla offered Hope a place to stay when she eventually chose to leave home.
Hope was picked up by Shayla and a man called William Bernard Jacobs in July 2012, and taken to an extended stay hotel in Lewisville, Texas.
Meanwhile, Denise, Hope’s mother, tracked down the phone her daughter used to contact Shayla and attempted to contact her. Denise then informed Shayla that her daughter was 14 years old, not 19, as she had previously stated.
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Hope, on the other hand, did not return home. Denise went to the police three days later, but it wasn’t until a few weeks later, on July 30, 2012, that the authorities discovered her.
They eventually discovered the truth about what had occurred. Shayla met William in May 2012 and began doing sex work, with all of the money she earned going to William.
After driving Hope to the hotel, the two had sex with her, smoked marijuana, and photographed her for advertising purposes.
William brought Hope to many states over the next three days to meet with more than 30 people, charging between $100 and $150 depending on the length of the meetings.
William pocketed all of the money that the clients paid for Shayla and Hope, according to Shayla, who eventually cooperated with the authorities.
The police also discovered that William gave the girls marijuana on a regular basis and was quite precise about what they had to do, occasionally becoming harsh.
On July 30, 2012, when they had all returned to the motel in Lewisville, William and Shayla abandoned Hope there and escaped. After following Shayla’s cell phone, the two were apprehended at a different motel in Arlington, Texas, in August 2012.
Where Is William Bernard Jacobs And Shayla Williams Now?
Some of the clients looked to be students, including a University of North Texas faculty member, according to the investigation.
William, who was around 30 years old at the time, eventually reached an agreement with the prosecution. He pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a child and prostitution trafficking of a person under the age of 18.
William was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his actions. Shayla’s cooperation resulted in a five-year sentence reduction. In 2018, she was arrested for breaking her sex offender registration requirements for the second time.
William is still jailed at the WJ Estelle Unit in Huntsville, Texas, according to prison records. In August 2022, he will be eligible for parole.