Priest Faces 2nd Abuse Charge

By Dan Rozek
Chicago Sun-Times
November 1, 2003

A Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year- old girl has been hit with new charges alleging he molested a 15- year-old girl while serving as a teacher at a Catholic school in Aurora, Kane County authorities said Friday.

During a brief court appearance, the Rev. Mark Campobello pleaded not guilty to the new aggravated criminal sexual abuse charges returned by a Kane County grand jury Oct. 14, although the indictment was unsealed only Friday.

The charges allege Campobello, 38, sexually abused the 15-year- old girl over a five-month span in 1999 and 2000 while she was a student at Aurora Central Catholic High School, where Campobello taught and served as assistant principal.

The girl came forward to report the alleged abuse after seeing media accounts of the sexual assault charges filed against Campobello in Kane County last December, authorities said.

"She contacted our office once she'd heard about the other case," Kane County Assistant State's Attorney Jody Gleason said.

Campobello was charged late last year with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl between January and May of 1999 while he lived at the rectory of St. Peter Church in Geneva. Campobello was working at Aurora Central at that time but lived at St. Peter and occasionally said mass there.

After his arrest last year, he was relieved by church officials of his duties at St. James Church in Belvidere.

But church officials have refused to turn over to Kane County prosecutors documents from an internal church investigation into Campobello that apparently began before he was charged. Prosecutors contend the records could provide key information for their case against Campobello, but church attorneys have argued the records must be kept confidential.

The church is appealing a judge's order to turn the records over to prosecutors.

Campobello's attorney declined Friday to comment on the new charges the priest faces. Campobello is free on bond.


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