Prison Chaplain Sexually Abused Incarcerated Women


Photo Credits: Wikimedia

Douglas Packer, 64, the longtime Cochise County Jail chaplain, pleaded guilty to sexual abuse, kidnapping, and unlawful sexual conduct against women who were in his care at the facility. He has been using his position as prison chaplain in Arizona to abuse women who, by legal decree, aren’t free to walk away. Packer was charged with 39 counts of sexual abuse, sexual assault, kidnapping, aggravated assault, unlawful sexual conduct, and indecent exposure against six different inmates in his care at Cochise County Jail.

Packer was arrested in January for sexual assault involving several inmates over the last five years. Two female inmates of the Cochise County Jail (called D.K. and E.L. in court documents) asked to speak with a female detention officer. What they said minutes later would lead to the arrest of the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office jail chaplain within seven hours and major changes in how inmates and employees interact at the jail.

As the My Herald Review reports, documents show the investigation started January 4th when an inmate became concerned that two other inmates were crying after returning from seeing Packer and notified a nearby detention officer. That male officer then summoned a female officer who was told a sexual assault took place in the chaplain’s office.

“The Chaplain told them nobody was going to believe them as he has been here for 10 years,” detective Borquez recounts in his report. “That a lot of people have said stuff and nobody believes it.” The chaplain brought them luxurious things, such as pizza and candy, which they didn’t have in prison, as if he were trying to buy their obedience.

D.K. (21) had been involved in a Bible study led by Packer who at first gave her candy and said he thought of her as a daughter. After that he started calling her beautiful, and told her he wanted to see her in a bikini. Feeling uncomfortable, she quit the Bible study shortly thereafter.

As the Phoenix New Times reports, because D.K. was in jail, the pastor could call her into his office at will, an authority granted to him by the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office. D.K. didn’t have the ability to say no to these requests, even after the chaplain pinned her down and groped her genitals.

Packer pled guilty to six counts of sexual abuse, kidnapping, and unlawful sexual conduct. In return for his guilty plea, he hopes to get the other charges against him dropped. He’ll spend 15 years in prison if the judge in the Superior Court of the State of Arizona in Cochise County accepts his plea.

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