Littlejail, lots of therapy for ex-chief

Published on Thu, Mar 25, 2004
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Little jail, lots of therapy for ex-chief

Last week former fire chief Mike Campbell was sentenced to 6.5 to 8.5 years after pleading guilty to a 1999 rape of a child.. He will serve up to six months in a work release facility under a program that treats certain sex offenders as more disturbed than dangerous.

The Special Sexual Offender Sentencing Alternative (SSOSA) is an alternative open to judges when sentencing first-time sex offenders, under which the offender receives community supervision and treatment instead of going to jail.

“Community based alternative sentences for sex offenders are predicated on the idea that certain sex offenders suffer from behavioral disorders which, if treated, would prevent reoffense, while incarceration would only temporarily protect the community from offenders who would reoffend upon release,” explains a report issued by the Harborview Sexual Assault Center in 1991, ten years after legilslation introducing the program was adopted. Campbell is considered a low-risk to reoffend if he completes the program.
County prosecutors would not discuss Campbell’s sentence, or why he qualified for the SSOSA program. “I have no comment on the Campbell case. When or if I do I will issue a press release to all agencies involved,” was prosecutor David Graham’s email response to inquiries about the status of the case.

Campbell, former chief of first the Point Roberts fire department and then North Whatcom Fire and Rescue Services, was first arrested in October 2002 after a cousin of his wife told a school counselor she was raped by Campbell while visiting his Point Roberts home when she was 12-years-old. In November 2003 he pled guilty to rape of a child in the second degree.

In a sexual deviancy evaluation and pre-sentence investigation report filed with Campbell’s sentence, investigators reported “it appears Campbell has had a long history of sexual relations with family members, to include the present victim, his second cousin, his sister and another younger cousin.” He has also admitted to having intercourse with a 17-year-old he met while working in emergency medecine. None of his victims were prepubescent.

Campbell acknowledges in the report, “I had been building toward this behavior my entire life. I now have a better understanding of my sexually deviant cycle. I now know there is treatment. It can help every part of me and I can prevent any more victims.” He said he had been depressed and occasionally suicidal since his arrest but was benefiting from therapy.

Campbell has been confined since his November 26 guilty plea and he is now in a work release program, returning to a Whatcom County jail work release facility after work at night. In May his confinement will be up and he will be released. His sentence further commits him to a 78 month outpatient sex offender treatment program, community supervision and paying the treatment costs for his victim and family, which are estimated at a minimum of $35,000. He will be required to register as a sex offender. He must avoid all contact with minor female children unless otherwise authorized, and hold no position of trust or authority involving children, effectively terminating his career as a fire and emergency medical services provider.

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