A Texas man was sentenced in federal court to spend 25 years in prison after he was convicted of engaging in “illicit sexual contact in a foreign place.” The man was reported to have had sexual contact with at least eight minors who were orphans in an orphanage he managed in Malawi.
Gerald Campbell, 66, from Odessa, Texas, pleaded guilty to the charge on May 18, Breitbart Texas’ Lana Shadwick reported. As part of the plea agreement, Shadwick wrote, Campbell admitted to engaging in sexual acts with eight orphans who were living at the Victory Christian Children’s Home in Malawi between 1997 and 2009.
Campbell admitted to the court that he used his position as manager of the children’s home over a 12-year period to lure the children into sexual acts with promises of better accommodations and amenities, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from the Department of Justice (DOJ). One of the amenities offered was something as simple as hot water. At least one of the victims was suffering from HIV.
He also admitted to sending money to some of the minors to keep them from informing on his activities.
Court records obtained by Breitbart Texas reveal that in September 2015, Campbell admitted he had one of the minor victims perform oral sex on him. This behavior occurred approximately every other week for almost a year. He allowed the victim to sleep in his house in exchange for the sexual gratification.
When asked why he did it, Campbell admitted he knew it was wrong. He said he did it because “I knew I could.”
“Who would believe him?” Campbell told the FBI investigators.
He admitted to sexual contact with a second victim while the boy slept. In total, Campbell admitted to some form of sexual contact including oral sex and/or fondling with at least 11 victims. Campbell said he believed all of the victims were under the age of 18 at the time.
“I took advantage of them; that’s what I did,” Campbell told the investigators. “There’s no excuse.” He said he knew he could do it because he was “in charge.” He said that he knew if anything came up, he could “buy” his way out of it.
The first victim, described above, is reported by court documents to have been about seven-years-old when Campbell began molesting him. In addition to the oral sex he said Campbell tried at least once to have anal sex with him but that he was unable to achieve penetration. He said Campbell never used a condom during their sexual activities.
Authorities were alerted to Campbell’s activities in 2009 when some of the children came forward to board members of the children’s home. They accused Campbell of “immoral sexual behavior.” Campbell resigned from the children’s home following the allegations.
The case was picked up by the DOJ as part of Project Safe Childhood. The case was prosecuted in the Western District of Texas by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leslie Fisher and Austin M. Berry. These prosecutors work in the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandi Young from the Western District of Texas also participated in the prosecution.
Campbell could have been sentenced to life in prison. In addition to his 25-year prison sentence, Campbell was ordered to pay 440,000 in restitution. If he outlives his prison sentence, he will spend the rest of his life under supervised release.