Cochise County Sheriff’s Office chaplain arrested on additional sexual abuse charges

Cochise County Courthouse

By Jon Johnson

SIERRA VISTA – Cochise County Sheriff’s Office Chaplain Douglas Robert Packer, 63, of Sierra Vista, was out on bond on sexual assault charges when he was arrested at his home Friday on a felony warrant regarding even more charges. 

Packer won Chaplain of the Year from the Arizona Detention Association in 2015, but now instead of consoling inmates he has become one.   

Prosecutors initially filed charges against Packer on Jan. 7, and now he faces charges of four counts of sexual abuse, kidnapping, sexual assault, two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a prisoner, and two counts of indecent exposure. 

Those charges are regarding incidents in which Packer is accused of engaging in sex acts with a female inmate at the Bisbee Jail on Jan. 2 and Jan. 4. All of the charges are felonies except for the indecent exposure. 

Contributed Photo/Courtesy CCSO: Douglas Packer

A search warrant served on his home Jan. 5 by the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office located items referred to by the abused inmate. Packer was then arrested but was later released on a $25,000 bond.

On Friday, the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office served a felony arrest warrant on Packer at his residence in Sierra Vista and was arrested and booked into the Cochise County Jail on additional sexual assault charges, according to the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office. 

“The warrant issued was based upon (Cochise) County Attorney Brian McIntyre working closely with the sheriff’s office detectives and Sierra Vista Police Department to bring new charges before the grand jury yesterday,” the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post. 

Packer is now being held on a $250,000 bond.

After the initial arrest, Cochise County Sheriff Mark J. Dannels expressed his shock and displeasure of Packer’s alleged crimes. 

“My disappointment is indescribable and this office will always do what is legally and morally right to protect those we serve,” Dannels said in a Facebook post. “I am dedicated to safeguard(ing) our criminal justice system and will always work to protect crime victims. No one is above the law and our employees are always held to a higher moral standard because that is the oath each took and they have pledged to serve and protect, not sometimes, but always. 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 them in their time of need.”