Daniel Douglas Campbell, 65, was sentenced to life in prison on charges of rape and lewd conduct involving at least three students in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Friday marked the second time his parole bid had been rejected.
“We send our most treasured and loved people to a safe environment: school. These three youngsters weren’t going to the school that any parent would want their daughter to go to. They went to a dark place,” said Janie Dressen, a member of the Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole. “You can’t fix this.”
Some of Campbell’s victims became pregnant over the course of the abuse. They said Campbell forced them into abortions, but Campbell has denied that.
Shadra Bruce, who was one of at least three students Campbell abused, said he targeted vulnerable girls and groomed them. She said she was only 13 at the time of the abuse.
The Idaho Statesman does not typically release the names of victims of sexual violence, but Bruce said she was comfortable using her name.
“When I was 13 years old he told me, ‘You can’t trust your parents. You can only trust me,’ ” she said. “Keep him where he belongs, where he can’t harm young girls.”
Campbell appealed to the parole board and said he wished he could take back his actions.
“Know that I’m not a threat to society. I can handle myself and it will never happen again,” he said. “If I could turn back time 100 times, I would. I was looking for a friend and I turned it into something that it shouldn’t have been.”
His parole plan included a move to one of two Boise halfway houses and a job with a local business, he said.
The commissioners denied parole and said they will revisit it in 2018 with the full panel of parole commissioners. They also suggested that he revise his parole plan and that he seek housing outside of Idaho.
“I think you’ve minimized it to the nth degree as to what was going on,” said David Moore, Idaho Department of Correction parole commissioner. “There are a lot of other people who suffered because of you.”
Victims turned out at the parole hearing and issued a group statement.
“While we are grateful Dan Campbell was not granted parole today, and truly are grateful for their condemnation of his actions by the parole board, we are disappointed in the board’s decision to only remand him for three additional years, forcing us to revisit this so much sooner than we had hoped,” the statement read.
Bruce issued an additional statement: “We’re concerned the board has a perception that just because he’s been in a long time, and has done their rehab, that he should be released. But he continued to deny the true nature of his behavior, which was to target and groom young girls for the purpose of sex and pregnancy. We will be back in three years to testify before the full panel.”
Campbell was a science teacher at Lowell Scott Middle School and Centennial High School when he was convicted. The case got national attention and the three victims appeared on Phil Donahue’s TV show.