Michael Walker, pastor of Southside Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama stands accused of “failing to report sexual abuse of a child.”
A Huntsville pastor is accused of failing to report sexual abuse of a child who allegedly was fondled by a now-former sheriff’s deputy.
Michael Walker, pastor of Southside Baptist Church, was released from the Madison County Jail on $500 bail early this morning, records show.
Walker failed to report abuse that Roland Campos, a former deputy, is accused of committing against a 12-year-old girl, police said.
“Investigators have since learned through follow-up investigation that the victim reported the abuse to Walker and he refused to notify law enforcement or (the Department of Human Resources),” Huntsville police Lt. Stacy Bates wrote in a news release. “The law requires anyone acting in a capacity such as Walker to report this type of alleged criminal activity.”
Police said Walker was made aware of the abuse in March. Campos was arrested in August on two felony counts of sexual abuse. He is free on bail.
Campos resigned amid a sheriff’s office internal investigation of the allegations. Huntsville police have handled the criminal case.
“Michael Walker is not guilty and looks forward to presenting his side in court,” Walker’s attorney, Jonathan Pippin stated in an email to AL.com.
What follows is an AL.com news article detailing the crimes of Roland Campos. Walker is accused of not reporting the abuse after the victim made it known to him.
The victim in a sexual abuse case against now-former Madison County sheriff’s investigator Roland Campos was 12 years old when the 63-year-old lawman fondled her, court documents allege.
Campos, a longtime sheriff’s investigator, resigned Friday just before he was booked into the Madison County Jail on two felony counts of first-degree sexual abuse.
Police have said the victim, a young girl, is a family member of Campos. Huntsville police Lt. Stacy Bates earlier this week told AL.com that HPD was called to investigate after the sheriff’s office was notified about the child’s allegations. The report was made Friday around 3 p.m., but the alleged abuse occurred months earlier, police have said.
About three hours after police were called, Campos resigned. He was a 10-year employee of the sheriff’s office, where he investigated white-collar crimes, like fraud and identity theft.
Campos was booked into the jail by 8 p.m. and released on $10,000 the next day.
“Anytime you have an employee that is involved in any criminal activity, it’s shocking,” Madison County sheriff’s Lt. Brian Chaffin said at a news conference earlier this week. “Not only is it shocking, it’s painful. We had a meeting this morning. You can see it on everybody’s faces. It’s never a good thing when one of your own ends up in jail. But, of course, we have to do our job and we’re going to continue to do our job.”
Campos isn’t the first person in his family to be charged with sex crimes. His son, also named Roland, was sentenced to two terms of life in prison without parole in 2014 for sodomizing a 5-year-old girl while he was reportedly dating the victim’s mother.
Campos’ brother, Russell Leland Campos, was charged with two counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12 in 2011. Those charges were dropped in 2014 when the alleged victim in the case was unable to testify due to the “ongoing effects of psychological trauma.”
I wish more prosecutors would hold pastors and churches accountable for not following mandatory reporting laws. As story after story on this blog has shown, far too many “men of God” and churches hide abuse accusations, choosing to protect reputations over helping abuse victims hold their abusers accountable for their crimes.