A Texas man has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing orphans. He used his position in a foreign country as orphanage manager, and access to better accommodations and amenities like hot water, to lure the minor victims. One of these children was suffering from HIV.
He also admitted that he sent money to some of the minors in an attempt to keep them from reporting the abuse to authorities.
The sixty-six-year-old Odessa, Texas man, Gerald Campbell, pleaded guilty before a federal magistrate judge in the Western District of Texas. The crime, one count of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place.
As part of the plea agreement, 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.
He also admitted that he knew that what he was doing was wrong, and that he thought noone would listen to the children if they reported what he was doing.
The date for his sentencing has not been scheduled according to a federal spokesperson.
The case is part of a nationwide effort by the U.S. Department of Justice to fight the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Project Safe Childhood was launched in May of 2006.
The effort is led by U.S. Attorneys in the nation and they work with federal and state officials to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet.
This case was a joint investigative effort between the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security investigative section and the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Criminal Investigations Division.
Trial Attorneys from the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Texas are prosecuting the case.