John Jacobs, who has refused counselling in the past, was sentenced to two years in prison on Tuesday. ((CBC))

A St. John's judge went well beyond conventional sentencing ranges on Tuesday when he ordered a man who told a seven-year-old girl to touch him sexually to serve a federal prison sentence.

Judge David Orr said John Jacobs had escalated his history of deviant behaviour, and thus deserved a two-year prison sentence for convictions of sexual touching and a breach of a court order.

Orr noted that with a federal sentence, Jacobs could take advantage of programming for sexual offenders. However, Jacobs — who told the court he is afraid of being sent to a federal prison — may be directed to Her Majesty's Penitentiary in St. John's, which does not offer such programming.

Jacobs has a history of making obscene phone calls to children for his own sexual gratification.

In January, however, he took a step farther.

"The only thing that happened is I showed myself to her," Jacobs told police investigators. "I asked her if she wanted to touch it. She squeezed it."

At the time, Jacobs was on probation for convictions of making obscene phone calls.

His parole officer told a hearing at St. John's provincial court on Tuesday that Jacobs is a high risk to reoffend.

In a victim impact statement, the father of the seven-year-old girl said the incident has already cut deeply.

"She is troubled. She is jaded now. She is asking questions about sexuality. Not things that we want to explain to a seven-year-old," the father's statement said.

The court was told that Jacobs refused counselling when he was released from custody last June.

He also breached a court order to stay away from children.