Investigators Say Priest May Have Molested 20 Boys

United Press International [Taylorville Ill]
August 8, 1985

A priest who admitted to molesting seven young boys may have molested as many as 20 by luring them into a sexual pact with offers of expensive gifts, investigators told a grand jury.

The Rev. Alvin Campbell has pleaded guilty but mentally ill to charges of molesting seven boys between the ages of 11 and 15 from the summer of 1983 to March 1984. A judge has scheduled a hearing Aug. 30 on whether to accept the plea. The transcript of the grand jury testimony was inadvertently placed in the case's public court file in Christian County, the Decatur Herald and Review reported Wednesday. Grand jury proceedings are secret.

Campbell, of the St. Maurice Catholic Church in Morrisonville, kept pornographic films and magazines in his home, investigators told the grand jury meeting in July. Campbell's home was searched in the spring.

Kent Hill of the Department of State Police Division of Criminal Investigation told the grand jury one of the films was an X-rated movie called "The Three Horny Toads," which depicted homosexual acts.

"Most of the other boys just seemed to accept this as something that they did in exchange for being able to come to the rectory and have the freedom to do the things they wanted to do over there," Hill told the grand jury.

The priest often led boys up to his second-floor bedroom, where the sexual acts, usually forced upon the boys, would be performed on Campbell's waterbed, Hill testified.

State authorities were first made aware of the incidents through a rape crisis center in Springfield, where a boy being treated revealed he was molested by the priest. A separate investigation by the Christian County authorities began after an anonymous telephone call.

Parents became suspicious when they learned of the number of boys who went to the St. Maurice rectory. They also questioned Campbell's gifts to the boys, which included video games, telephones, watches, clock radios and 10-speed bicycles, the transcripts indicate.

Investigators, who interviewed many other boys besides the seven Campbell is accused of molesting, also found letters to Campbell from other boys. One letter was a love letter from a 28-year-old man from Vietnam.

Campbell, 59, served in the Vietnam War and was awarded a Bronze Star.

Another investigator, Carlo Jianoni, told the grand jury Campbell was confronted by parents in March.


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