Cochise County Sued In Light Of Sexual Assault Allegations Against Jail Chaplain

By Chloe Jones
Published: Friday, May 24, 2019 - 10:05am
Updated: Friday, May 24, 2019 - 10:09am
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Cochise County and the sheriff of the county are being sued in relation to sexual assault allegations against a former jail chaplain. 

On Jan. 11, 2019, now-former jail chaplain Doug Packer was arrested on suspicion of multiple sexual assaults. At first, two victims came forward, but Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels says more victims have appeared in light of further investigation, although he would not specify how many.

Dannels says Packer is currently charged with at least three dozen counts in relation to sexual assault.

“Within the first 48 hours, once we saw the seriousness of the case, and then we saw the possible magnitude of the case, the county attorney and myself, we reached out to the law enforcement agencies to assist us. And we put a task force together to dig into this investigation.”

Packer had been a full-time chaplain for Cochise County Jail since 2012. The Arizona Detention Association named him chaplain of the year in 2015. 

“When one of our own violates that trust and that sacred trust, especially as a chaplain, it's alarming. But nobody's above the law and they will be held accountable.”

Dannels says the allegations are still under investigation. He did not comment on the current lawsuit.