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Cochise County jail chaplain arrested for alleged sex crimes against inmate
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Cochise County jail chaplain arrested for alleged sex crimes against inmate

A jail chaplain once lauded for his service to others at the Cochise County jail was arrested after an investigation into alleged sex crimes against an inmate, officials said.

On Friday, an inmate told staff about an inappropriate incident involving Jail Chaplain Doug Packer, 63, at the Bisbee jail, a Cochise County Sheriff's Office news release said.

The immediate investigation led sheriff's detectives to conduct interviews and serve a search warrant at Packer's home in Sierra Vista. 

He was arrested Saturday morning and booked into the Sierra Vista substation on charges of sexual abuse, sexual assault and unlawful sexual conduct in a correctional facility, the news release said.

Packer was out on bond early Saturday afternoon, officials said.

In 2015, Packer won Chaplain of the Year at the Arizona Detention Association Conference. 

Packer (middle) receives an award for Chaplain of the Year in 2015. On Saturday, he was arrested after being accused of sexual misconduct against an inmate. 

He had been serving as a chaplain since at least fall 2009, "offering his services and assistance to every detention officer," and providing "for the religious needs of the inmates," according to the Cochise County website. The jail command chart states Packer reported directly to the jail commander, who is third in the chain of command.

"Chaplain Packer was in a position of community trust and based solely on his actions and poor decisions, he violated his sacred oath of office and took advantage of those who truly depend on him in their time of need," said Sheriff Mark Dannels.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information helpful to the case is asked to call the sheriff's office at 520-432-9500.

Contact Star reporter Shaq Davis at 573-4218 or

On Twitter: @ShaqDavis1

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