Jail Chaplain Arrested on Three Dozen Charges of Sexually Abusing Inmates Sued

Ben Keller

An Arizona County has been sued after a currently incarcerated jail chaplain sexually abused six female inmates.

Two former inmates named as victims in criminal indictments against a former Cochise County Jail chaplain have filed a notice they're suing after the supposed holy man sexually abused them while they were incarcerated at the jail.

"He was weird, because if you asked him to pray for you, he would get uncomfortable and wouldn’t do it half the time," a former inmate who says she was in Douglas Packer's office at least 40 times and worked as an exotic dancer said.

"[Packer] never talked about the Bible or God," the former inmate said about her months-long stay, adding conversations with the chaplain always veered to sex.

Packer, was arrested January 5 — just seven hours after a 21-year-old female inmate reported the assault, and was later indicted by a county grand jury on nearly three dozen charges of sexual abuse and non-consensual sex

He faces up to life in prison if convicted on all charges.

After it was reported, Sheriff Mark Dannels made sure nothing was input into the county's call report system during the initial hours of the investigation.

Multiple detectives, a crime scene technician and a patrol deputy worked the same night throughout the next day to collect evidence, review inmate movement logs, record statements from several former inmates and to make sure Packer could not further access the jail.

After the investigation began, Lieutenant Christy Heisner ordered female inmates to be escorted another area of the jail to await detectives.

"Upon notification by the victims regarding our chaplain, my staff immediately took the appropriate actions to pursue the facts, resulting in the arrest of Packer within seven hours," Dannels said.

"I have high expectations of my staff and we’ll always do what’s legally right, even when it includes a member of this office."

Packer currently remains in custody on charges including non-consensual intercourse at the Santa Cruz County Jail in lieu of a $550,000 bond.

The notice of claim accuses Packer of forcing her to perform oral sex on him January 4 after being sexually abused by the chaplain just two days earlier.

The other former inmate says she was made to watch the sex act on January 4 then clean up Packer's mess with tissues.

Detectives found Packer's semen on the young woman's jail uniform and on tissues seized from inside his office just hours after the reported assault, according to the Herald Review.

A health department employee for the county recalled how she heard rumors about Packer when she started working at the jail that he had a habit of only helping "pretty girls."

A female detention officer says she was moved to the graveyard shift after she raised concerns to a supervisor about red flags regarding the amount of time some female inmates spent inside of Packer's office.

"She said Packer would only take out young white females," Cochise County Sheriff's Office detective Todd Borquez noted in his investigation report.

"He would spend hours in his office with them. She said this is all logged.”

The female officer said she raised concerns around 2014 to early 2015 and provided detective Borquez with the names of two inmates.

She stated Packer would attend one of the inmate's court dates then return to work "angry at the prosecutor."

In total, six woman have levied complaints against Packer resulting in criminal charges.

Three of the women claim the chaplain forced them into non-consensual sex.


Cops In Cuffs