Belvidere Priest Charged With Sexual Abuse

By: Joe Hamitlon
By: Joe Hamitlon

A Belvidere priest is arrested after being accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl

Geneva, Illinois, police took Father Mark Campobello into custody and charged him with 10 counts of criminal sexual misconduct

The charges stem from abuse that allegedly occurred in 1999 while Campobello was an assistant pastor at Saint Peter's Catholic Church in Geneva; charges that has prompted the Rockford Diocese to remove Campobello of his duties.

The Kane County State's Attorney reading a complaint filed by an 18-year-old-girl who alleges that Campobello sexually abused her when he was a priest at Saint Peter's Church in Geneva three years ago.

"Sexual abuse of minors is both a travesty and a tragedy and we will not tolerate it in our diocese," Dr. Owen Phelps Rockford Diocese Communication Director.

Campobello has been charged with five counts of criminal sexual abuse and five counts of criminal sexual assault. And the Kane County State's Attorney says they are asking for other children who might have been abused by Campobello to come forward.

"If anybody else was hurt or if any other witnesses that might know something are asked to come contact police," says Meg Gorecki, Kane County State's Attorney.

Meanwhile residents say they hope the churches revised sexual abuse policy will bring more priests accused of sexual abuse to justice.

"These guys better not get off like they always do, " said John Morrow, Belvidere resident

Campobello is free on $75,000 bond as he awaits a Jan. 9 court date in Kane County. If convicted, Campobello faces up to 22 years in prison.

This arrest comes three weeks after the Catholic Church revised its sexual abuse policy.

This is the fifth priest this year in the Stateline area to be accused of sexual misconduct.


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