Meridian Star

March 16, 2013

Miss. high court to review ruling in fondling case

Associated Press


JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Supreme Court will review a ruling that overturned the conviction of a man accused of fondling.

David Campbell of Oxford was convicted in September of 2010 of inappropriate contact with a teenager who was living at his home. He was acquitted on a sexual battery count.

Court documents say the 16-year-old girl was from Jackson County and was undergoing treatment at Millcreek in Pontotoc. The girl was living with Campbell and his wife.

Prosecutors say Campbell was a foster parent to the teenage girl from May 1, 2006 to August 9, 2006. The charges came after an investigation into an allegation of inappropriate contact between the defendant and his foster child during a family visit in Pontotoc.

During testimony at Campbell's trial, a Mississippi Department of Human Services caseworker said the Campbell's were in the process of being licensed as foster parents when the teenager was allowed to move in with them, but didn't know if the license was ever granted.

In his appeal, Campbell's attorney argued the state failed to prove he was a person of authority over her, a stipulation in state law to charge someone with fondling.

The state Court of Appeal overturned the conviction and ordered the case back to Lafayette County Circuit Court in July of 2012.

Prosecutors appealed the ruling, and the Supreme Court agreed Thursday to review the decision.