Former H-E-B executive denied shock probation in child porn case

John Campbell to serve 10-year prison sentence

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SAN ANTONIO – A district court judge on Tuesday denied a request by a former H-E-B executive to be released from prison on shock probation, a legal procedure that allows a judge to release someone on probation before serving a full sentence.

Judge Catherine Torres-Stahl in January sentenced John Campbell to 10 years in prison following his conviction on 54 counts of possession and promotion of child pornography. According to trial testimony, nude images of young boys in sexually explicit poses were found on his company's electronic devices.

During a hearing Tuesday, Campbell told the judge that his time of approximately four months in prison "(has) been an eye opener. It's been a grueling experience. Physically, grueling experience and emotionally draining."

Campbell, 66, said he has been attending religious services and getting counseling for his sex and alcohol addictions during his prison term. 

"Alcohol was the lubricant that moved this thing to where it (went) to the darkest places that you can imagine," Campbell said.

Prosecutor Patrick Ballantyne asked Torres-Stahl to deny Campbell's request.

"I'm glad he's seeking these self-improvement reforms, but the sentence needs to be carried out," he said. "I think it's very dangerous to take people who are engaged in active engagement of their pedophilia and place them on probation. The judge got it right the first time."


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