Priest-Abuse Trials Set for Next Year
Suits Target Molester and Rockford Diocese

Chicago Tribune [Illinois]
December 20, 2006

A Kane County judge on Tuesday set trial dates for two civil lawsuits against a former Geneva priest convicted of sexually abusing two teenage girls.

Mark Campobello, 41, pleaded guilty in May 2004 to aggravated criminal sexual abuse charges and is serving an 8-year prison term. Each of his victims are suing Campobello, Bishop Thomas Doran and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockford for damages in excess of $50,000, claiming the diocese knew of the abuse and did not do enough to stop it.

Judge F. Keith Brown set one trial for Oct. 22 and another for Nov. 5, leaving open the option for the two cases to be tried together on the earlier date.

But a mediation scheduled for February could produce a settlement, keeping the suits out of court, said Chicago attorney Michael L. Brooks, who is representing the victims.

In that event, depositions given by witnesses would remain secret, since the judge has barred the parties involved in the suits from divulging any evidence before trial. In January, Monsignor Joseph Jarmoluk, Campobello's superior at St. Peter Catholic Church in Geneva, will give a deposition detailing what he knew about the abuse, Brooks said.

Jarmoluk's congregation is divided about his handling of the scandal, said longtime church member MaryLu O'Halloran, who appeared in court Tuesday along with a contingent critical of the church's handling of sex abuse cases.


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