Judge Blocks Release of Campobello Tapes

By Dan Campana
Kane County Chronicle [Geneva IL]
December 7, 2004

GENEVA A judge Monday blocked the release of details from taped conversations between former priest Mark Campobello and the Geneva girl he molested.

The temporary order bars the disclosure of information from six audio tapes to anyone other than attorneys involved in one of two civil lawsuits against Campobello, Circuit Judge Keith Brown said.

Brown also said he would review 120 pages of taped transcripts to determine whether the information should be sealed longer. He will rule Dec. 20 on the issue.

The tapes, made by the Geneva Police Department during its investigation of sex-abuse claims against Campobello, reportedly include the former priest "admitting to his involvement with this victim," attorney Keith Aeschliman said last month.

Aeschliman represents two women whom Campobello admitted to molesting. The women, referred to as "Jane Doe" and "Jane Roe," sued the former priest and the Rockford Diocese this year.

Aeschliman objected to the protective order, saying nothing is on the tapes that should not be disclosed especially if they only deal with Campobello's guilt or innocence, which was determined in the criminal case.

In May, Campobello, 39, pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse and was sentenced to eight years in prison. Campobello is being held at the Illinois River Correctional Center in Canton.

Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Lulves and attorney Ellen Lynch, the Rockford Diocese's representative, agreed with the order.

Lulves noted that the tapes include "Jane Doe" when she was a minor.

"All juvenile records are confidential," Lulves said.

Aeschliman believes the tapes are "mostly uninteresting," with the exception of maybe a half-dozen excerpts, and apply only to the Doe case.

Later this month, Aeschliman said he expects the formal exchange of evidence discovery with Lynch to take place. That evidence should include Campobello's priest file that the diocese maintained, Aeschliman said.


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