Mark Campobello – Defrocked priest, convicted sex offender, arrested


A former Geneva, Illinois priest and registered sex offender is back behind bars for a second parole violation in less than a year.

Mark Campobello, 45, of Crystal Lake, spent nearly four years at the Illinois River facility in Canton, after pleading guilty to two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in 2004.

The de-frocked priest is classified as a sexual predator, a designation which requires him to register annually for the rest of his life. He apparently violated parole by not maintaining a permanent address.

Since Campobello was paroled in February of 2008, he was soon behind bars again, spending May through July incarcerated for what board officials said was a “minor” parole violation.

The Illinois Prisoner Review Board will have to determine the length of Campobello’s incarceration for this current offense. In May, Jorge Montes, chairman of the review board, was quoted as saying that while that infraction was minor in nature, the three month imprisonment was meant “to remind him [Campobello] that he needs to follow the parole rules to a T.”

Shortly before his scheduled trial date in May of 2004, Campobello pleaded guilty to sexually molesting two adolescent girls while living at St. Peter Parish in Geneva. One victim was a student at the Geneva parish’s school and according to police reports, some of the abuse incidents occurred in the church rectory. The other victim was a student of Aurora Central Catholic High School, where Campobello served as an assistant principal and spiritual director.

The victims filed a civil suit against Campobello, Bishop Thomas Doran and the Rockford Diocese, claiming officials knew of the abuse and did not take appropriate action to stop it. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockford eventually paid a total of $2.2 million to settle the claim in 2007.

The diocese petitioned the Vatican to have Campobello officially removed from the priesthood in 2005.

While Campobello bounces in and out of the Illinois Department of Corrections, his former Geneva parish and its current pastor, Joseph Jarmoluk are reportedly the subject of a documentary film being made about the case by a New York production company called CTL NYC. The production company maintains a promotional website about the film, entitled “Forsaken,” as well as an internet radio show and a message board.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte

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