Rockford Diocese Not Cooperating

By: Joe Hamilton
By: Joe Hamilton

Belvidere priest father mark Campobello is accused of sexually abusing two teenage girls, one in 1999 and the other in 2001 when he worked as a priest in Kane County, but the Rockford diocese won’t reveal to the state what they know in the case.

Assistant Kane County State's Attorney Jody Gleason is confused why the Rockford diocese will not release their internal investigation records the church conducted on father mark Campobello when he was accused of sexually molesting two 13 year old girls as a priest in Kane County.

"It’s our understanding that the church performed this investigation before the police even knew about it,” says Jody Gleason, Kane County Assistant State’s Attorney.

The state's attorney's office believes the records may provide statements made by the victims and possibly interviews with witnesses or the defendant himself.

"We are not going after the church we only want to know what they know, said Neimura Pencyla Kane County Assistant State’s Attorney

The Rockford diocese refused to comment on this case but have said in court documents the disclosure of reports and materials prepared by it's investigators would violate the first amendment and believe the information is privileged. The diocese inquiry could determine whether a member of the clergy has violated canon law based on sexual abuse allegations.

One previous church victim is outraged by the church's refusal to disclose the records.

"That is ludicrous. Those documents could help protect other kids form this abuse,”

Barbara Blaine, President of Survivors Network Abused by Priests Allegations unsealed in a 15 count indictment accuses father mark Campobello in graphic detail of abusing two teenage girls through touching and penetration...we asked Campobello leaving court this afternoon why he doesn't demand that the church release the records into their investigation of him.

"No comment,” said Campobello.

Are you hiding something by not demanding the church release them?

“No comment, said Campobello. “Please ask my attorneys.”

This matter isn't expected to be resolved anytime soon. There's no case law in Illinois that guides the courts on releasing these documents, the U.S. Supreme Court could have to decide the matter.


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