San Antonio, Texas - A former general manager at an orphanage in Malawi was sentenced today to 25 years in prison for one count of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Richard L. Durbin Jr. of the Western District of Texas.
Gerald Campbell, 66, of Odessa, Texas, pleaded guilty on May 18, 2016. Senior U.S. District Judge Robert A. Junell of the Western District of Texas presided over the sentencing and also ordered Campbell to serve a lifetime term of supervised release and to pay $40,000 in restitution.
According to admissions made in connection with his plea agreement, Campbell engaged in sexual acts with eight minors, all of whom were orphans living at the Victory Christian Children’s Home in Malawi between 1997 and 2009. Campbell admitted that he used his position as orphanage manager, with access to better accommodations and amenities, such as hot water, to lure the minor victims, one of whom was suffering from the effects of HIV, into his house and sexually abuse them. In addition, Campbell admitted that he knew that what he was doing was wrong and that he thought nobody would believe the minors if they reported the abuse. Furthermore, Campbell admitted that he sent money to some of the minors in an attempt to keep them from reporting the abuse to authorities.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case with assistance from the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Criminal Investigations Division. Trial Attorneys Leslie Fisher and Austin M. Berry of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandi Young of the Western District of Texas prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.