SAN ANTONIO, Aug. 9 (UPI) — A Texas man who for years was the general manager of an African orphanage was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison Tuesday for admitting to sexually assaulting several minors under his care, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.
Gerald Dean Campbell pleaded guilty in May to one count of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place. As part of a plea agreement, Campbell admitted to sexually abusing eight minors in the Malawi orphanage he presided over between 1997 and 2009.
Campbell, 66, of Odessa, Texas, was sentenced Tuesday to 300 months in prison.
The case was handled by the Justice Department’s Western District of Texas.
“Campbell engaged in sexual acts with eight minors, all of whom were orphans living at the Victory Christian Children’s Home in Malawi,” the Justice Department said in a news release. “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 to his prison term, Campbell is also subject to supervised release for the rest of his life and must pay $40,000 in restitution.
Campbell’s arrest was part of Project Safe Childhood, a federal initiative intended to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
“Campbell also 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,” the Justice Department said in May.
“He will have to pay the consequences for what he did but that he can find mercy and peace with God and some kind of hope. Not a day goes by that we have not continued to pray for him,” Victory Christian Children’s Home co-founder Charles Trombley previously said.