A Wichita priest was arrested early Friday and jailed for sex crimes at a local park. Father Doug Campbell, 64, is the pastor at St. Jude Parish in North Wichita.
The news spread very quickly Friday afternoon among parishioners at the church in the 3000 block of North Amidon. Father Campbell was arrested during a sex crimes sting at Oak Park.
Campbell has been the priest at St. Jude for a little more than 10 years. Everybody we spoke to Friday afternoon had nothing but good things to say about him. In fact, they were shocked. Some had not heard the news that Campbell was booked into jail early Friday after police organized the sex crimes sting.
In a statement to KAKE News Friday afternoon, Bishop Michael Jackels said:
"The Diocese of Wichita is cooperating fully with authorities, and will continue to do so, regarding the misdemeanor charges brought against a diocesan priest. This priest has been granted a temporary leave from his ministerial duties to receive counseling and help for his spiritual renewal. I am saddened by this situation. In addition to the common good, I am concerned and will care for the well-being of the priest and his parish."
Meanwhile, police arrested six other people during the sting. One of those people was arrested with Father Campbell at the same time.
"I believe there was undercover and surveillance both used in this incident," said Wichita Police Captain Darrell Haynes.
Campbell was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail at 4:40 Friday morning and posted bail. He was held on charges of lewd and lascivious behavior, public nudity, and remaining in a park after hours. He posted bail shortly after and was released. He has a municipal court appearance scheduled for August 27th.
We did attempt to contact Father Campbell at the parish rectory. As we walked up the driveway, a car pulled out of the driveway. The driver, however, said he was not Father Campbell and refused to speak to us. Nobody answered the door of the residence.
This isn't the first time a Kansas priest has gotten in trouble for sex crimes. Father Dennis Schultz of Seneca, Kansas, was convicted of sexually abusing a 15 year-old boy. He served his time and was released in 2006. Father Robert Larson, of Newton, was also convicted of abusing several teenagers. He is currently on parole after being released from prison in 2006.
It is important to note that these charges against Father Campbell are only misdemeanors and do not involve children.