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"Children deserve protection from predators," says Van Hollen. "The circuit court and the Wisconsin Court of Appeals recognized that Campbell victimized both his children. Today's decision will encourage other courts to protect vulnerable victims."
MADISON - At sentencing on his Pierce County conviction for the first-degree sexual assault of his 10-year-old daughter, a circuit court judge ordered Mark Allan Campbell to have no contact with his minor son until Campbell successfully completed sex offender treatment. This morning, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals upheld that restriction as a proper exercise of the judge's sentencing discretion.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, whose office represented the State of Wisconsin in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, applauded the decision. Children deserve protection from predators," said Van Hollen. "The circuit court and the court of appeals recognized that Campbell victimized both his children. Today's decision will encourage other courts to protect vulnerable victims."
Campbell pleaded guilty to the first-degree sexual assault of his 10-year-old daughter. Police reports established that Campbell also exposed his minor son to that sexual abuse by committing it in his presence. At sentencing, the circuit court judge ordered that Campbell have no contact with his son until he fulfills certain requirements, including completion of sex offender treatment. Campbell challenged this condition on appeal, claiming the judge exceeded his lawful sentencing authority by imposing the no-contact order.
The Wisconsin Court of Appeals disagreed. Under Wisconsin law—specifically, Wis. Stat. § 973.049(2)—a circuit court judge may prohibit a defendant from contacting his victim during the period of his sentence "if the court determines that the prohibition would be in the interest of public protection. For purposes of the prohibition, the court may determine who are the victims of any crime considered at sentencing." Here, the circuit court judge concluded that the circumstances of the sexual assault also made Campbell's minor son a victim of the crime and justified the no-contact order.
From the Wisconsin Court of Appeals' decision and opinion:
"Campbell was convicted of first-degree sexual assault of a child based on allegations that he abused his daughter. The police reports attached to the criminal complaint established that Campbell exposed his son to the sexual abuse of his daughter. Campbell's daughter told a social worker that Campbell sexually assaulted her while her little brother was home. She also told the social worker that her little brother would sometimes come into the room while the sexual assault was occurring.
The potential emotional harm associated with observing Campbell's sexual misconduct is sufficient to make his son a victim of the crime for purposes of WIS. STAT. § 973.049(2). Furthermore, we agree with the circuit court that, by allowing his son to witness the sexual assaults, Campbell has put his son at risk of 'modeling' this behavior and growing up to become sexually abusive. Accordingly, because the circuit court could reasonably conclude Campbell's son was a victim of Campbell's crime, § 973.049(2) gave the circuit court legal authority to impose the no-contact provision as a condition of Campbell's entire sentence, both the initial confinement and extended supervision portions."
The Wisconsin Court of Appeals also concluded that Pierce County prosecutors adhered to the terms of the plea agreement reached with Campbell.
Wisconsin Department of Corrections records indicate that Mark Allan Campbell remains incarcerated at the New Lisbon Correctional Institution in New Lisbon, Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Court of Appeals' decision and opinion in State of Wisconsin v. Mark Allan Campbell, No. 2010AP905-CR, appears at the court's website:
The Pierce County District Attorney's Office prosecuted Campbell in Pierce County Circuit Court. Assistant Attorney General Daniel J. O'Brien represented the State of Wisconsin in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.