Eric Jason Campbell, 41, pleaded guilty to the offense and, along with the 50-year sentence, forfeited his peace officers’ license and must register for life as a sex offender, according to a news release. Campbell, who resigned last year, faced up to life in prison and will be eligible for parole after he serves at least half his sentence.
Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd called the result “good” and “sufficient.”
“Obviously (with) these cases, any prosecutor’s office takes them seriously,” he said. “He was a peace officer but is held to the same standard. We had prepared the case to go to trial and were willing to pick a jury, but (the victim) and her family wanted to see the case be disposed of … That’s really what drove it to plea bargain.”
However, he said he believed it was a fair plea bargain based on evidence.
Byrd said the child, who was under 14 at the time, was sexually abused for a long period but didn’t come forward until she was older than 14.
According to a news release, the child was there for the plea and gave an “emotional” victim impact statement, telling Campbell, “This would haunt her for the rest of her life.”
Byrd said he is proud for the victim and her family now because they have some closure.
“It was a very emotional day. Our office has developed a close bond with the child and her family. We feel very good for her and her family. They feel a sense of relief … He won’t be able to hurt the child or another child again and because of that we feel very satisfied with the outcome,” he said.
Byrd also commended the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office on its investigation.