Child Abuse Victims Want To See Former Parents In Handcuffs And In Prison

Monica, Jade, and Brian Campbell attend a hearing at the Cochise County Superior Court. [Photo by Terri Jo Neff]

Four of Brian and Monica Campbell’s adoptive children want to see their now-former parents in handcuffs and sent to prison for subjecting the children to years of “torture and abuse,” their attorney advised a Cochise County judge last week.

Tucson-based lawyer Lynne Cadigan has filed a sentencing memorandum with Judge Timothy Dickerson who will pronounce sentence Jan. 22 against the Campbells, who each pleaded guilty last month to four felony counts of child abuse which occurred from 2016 to 2018. Cadigan serves as the children’s victim representative.

Brian Campbell, a former child welfare manager, and his wife Monica Campbell, a longtime employee of the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, voluntarily severed their parental rights to the four children in April 2020. Three years in prison is the maximum sentence Dickerson can impose under a plea deal which ensured the children would not have to testify at a trial.

The judge could also suspend sentence and place one or both defendants on probation. However, Cadigan’s memo states it is “imperative” for the children’s mental health that a three year prison term is imposed rather than a lesser sentence.

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“If the Campbells are finally held accountable and leave the court in handcuffs on their way to prison, it will be worth 10 years of therapy for the victims,” the memo states. “The victims truly don’t believe justice will be served, as their abusers received special treatment from law enforcement for years.”

Cadigan also advised Dickerson that the four victims are “extremely concerned” about another sibling, now an adult, who continues to reside with the Campbells.  Court documents suggest the sibling receives some type of financial government assistance which is turned over to the Campbells.

In addition, the memo raises questions about whether Monica Campbell receives or has received unemployment insurance after resigning her job with the sheriff’s office in March 2020 after she was on paid administrative leave for nearly one year.

Cadigan’s memo followed one filed last month by the prosecutor, Deputy County Attorney Michael Powell, who also supports a three year prison term for both of the Campbells. Powell’s memo noted the four guilty pleas by each parent “reflect a tiny fraction of the abuse” endured by the children over several years.

“In this case, the heinous, cruel, or depraved manner in which the Defendant committed these crimes in inseparable from the overall pattern of emotional and physical abuse,” Powell wrote.

The Cochise County Adult Probation Department has also filed a pre-sentence report with Dickerson. The report authored by longtime Deputy Probation Officer Rebecca Prudhomme also recommends the maximum three years in prison.

However, Prudhomme also suggests the Campbells be required to serve four year of probation after their release.

“A probation tail would provide the (defendants) the opportunity to participate in domestic violence treatment programs as well as provide accountability and peace of mind to the victims for an additional four years beyond the prison term,” she noted.

Dickerson will also conduct a review hearing on Jan. 22 in a case against Jade Campbell, one of Brian and Monica Campbell’s biological children.  She is charged with two felonies in connection to a July 2018 incident in which one of the adoptive children was Tasered while pinned to the floor.