HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The sex abuse case against a longtime Madison County Sheriff’s Office investigator is based on an accusation from the alleged victim in the case – who is a middle school student – and her mother, a police investigator testified Thursday morning.
Following a brief preliminary hearing, Madison County District Judge Claude Hundley bound the case against Roland Campos over to a grand jury.
Campos, 64, was arrested in August on two counts of sex abuse – but prosecutors said today were only pursuing one of those counts. Campos resigned from his position as a financial crimes investigator the same days as his arrest, according to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.
Huntsville Police Department investigator William McDonald was the only witness to testify at the Thursday hearing.
He recalled that on Aug. 18 he was told to go an area middle school. Once there, he spoke to a school counselor who said a student had told him she’d been sexually abused, McDonald testified.
The girl, a member of Campos’ family, was taken to the National Children’s Advocacy Center, and she told an interviewer he reached under her clothes and fondled her in February, the investigator testified.
In the interest of protecting the child’s privacy, WHNT News 19 is omitting some details that were included in the court hearing.
The investigator also testified he interviewed the girl’s mother. She told him her daughter had recounted the incident to her.
The investigator told the court that the mother also said Campos confessed to her that he’d touched the girl.
McDonald testified that he called Campos after the allegations were made, but Campos didn’t want to talk to him.
The arrest was based on the accounts of the girl and her mother, the investigator said.
McDonald also testified the girl allegedly told a church pastor, Michael Walker, about the incident but Walker didn’t report it to authorities. McDonald said Walker was later arrested on a charge of “failure to report.”
Campos’s attorney Richard Jensen confirmed that the alleged victim was at least 12 at the time of the incident, though she was in middle school.
Under Alabama law, the charge of sex abuse of a child involves a victim less than 12.
The charge of first-degree sex abuse that Campos is facing, doesn’t specify an age. The sex abuse offense he’s charged with includes subjecting a person to sexual contact through “forcible compulsion” or to someone who is incapable of consent because they are “physically helpless” or “mentally incapacitated.”
The charge is a Class C felony and a conviction carries a sentence of 1-10 years in prison.
The case is being prosecuted by the Alabama Attorney General’s Office. The Madison County District Attorney’s office, which has worked on cases with Campos in the past, recused itself from prosecuting him.