July 01, 2005

Church to hand over priest abuse files

Chicago Daily Herald

By Tona Kunz
Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Friday, July 01, 2005

A Kane County judge lifted the veil of secrecy around the Catholic Church a tad Thursday.

Judge F. Keith Brown ordered that the Rockford Catholic Diocese hand over by September personnel files for priests accused of sexual misconduct that occurred between 1991 and 2002.

That is the time frame that Mark Campobello was serving as an active priest. The files potentially will be used in two civil lawsuits against the former Geneva pastor. Campobello and the diocese are being sued by a Geneva girl and an Aurora girl that Campobello admitted in his criminal case last year abusing when they were teens. The abuse occurred while Campobello was working at St. Peterís Church in Geneva and Aurora Central Catholic High School.

He is serving an eight-year sentence for the abuse in a downstate prison.

Judge Brown will review the priest files and decide whether anything in them is relevant to Campobello lawsuits.

Keith Aeschliman, a Shorewood attorney representing the girls, expects only two files fit into the narrow timeframe allotted by the judge. Still, he called the ruling a success because it gave a judge rather than the church the power to decide what files shed light on priest abuse.

Posted by kshaw at July 1, 2005 07:07 AM