Priest Sentenced to 14 Years for Molesting Boys

United Press International [Taylorville Ill]
October 26, 1985

A Roman Catholic priest who pleaded guilty but mentally ill to sexually molesting young boys has been sentenced to 14 years in prison by a Christian County judge.

The Rev. Alvin L. Campbell, 60, was charged with sexually abusing seven boys during a period of nearly two years while he was pastor of St. Maurice Parish in Morrisonville, a central Illinois town of 1,200. Campbell, who left the post in March, was indicted in July and agreed to plead guilty but mentally ill to the charges later in the month.

Judge Joseph Fribley sentenced Campbell Friday to 14 years in prison and fined him $1,500 for each of four Class 1 felony counts of criminal sexual assault. He also sentenced Campbell to seven years in prison and fined him $1,000 for each of three Class 2 felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

The prison terms will be served concurrently, so Campbell will serve no longer than 14 years behind bars and will receive treatment while in prison.

During a seven-hour hearing, two psychiatrists and one psychologoist agreed Campbell should be under supervision for a long period of time.

Campbell's lawyers recommended he be placed in a Catholic retreat in Jemez Springs, N.M., where he had been receiving treatment since he left the church in Morrisonville.

But Christian County State's Attorney John Coady argued for a prison term, saying he believed the sentence must include some element of punishment to deter others.

Campbell could appeal his sentence.

Investigators testifying before a grand jury said Campbell had lured the boys, between the ages of 11 to 15, with gifts over a period ranging from the summer of 1983 to March of this year.


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