Kanakuk Kamps Two new lawsuits allege that a Missouri-based Christian children’s sports camp was aware that its director was having one-on-one sleepovers with male campers but did nothing to protect the children in their care.
Former camp director Peter D. Newman is currently serving a lengthy prison sentence for sexually abusing several boys during the ten years he held supervisory positions at Kanakuk Kamps, a chain of camps that entertains approximately 10,000 children a year and claims its staff is comprised of Christian athletes. The two new lawsuits are among several that name Newman and Kanakuk as defendants.
Newman pleaded guilty in 2010 to two counts of first-degree statutory sodomy, three counts of second-degree of statutory sodomy and there counts of child enticement. The charges stemmed from the abuse of six children but prosecutors say Newman admitted to involvement with 13 additional children. The lawsuits against Newman and the camp began after Newman went to prison on two life sentences plus 30 years.
According to the lawsuits, Newman engaged in abuse while at the camp – encouraging one victim to swing naked from a trapeze into the pool, and others to play sports with him while undressed – and at Newman’s personal home.
The camp does not comment on pending litigation but has announced it has a new Child Protection Plan that involves professional criminal background checks for all employees and mandatory sex abuse prevention training for every member.
Attorney Rick DiGiorgio, who represented the victims in the most recently settled cases against Kanakuk said that the cases sent a firm message to anyone who believes they’ve witnessed an adult acting inappropriately with a child.
“There should be an alarm going off. When you see that activity you’re going to have to address it. You cannot ignore it,” said the Birmingham-based attorney.
If you or a loved one are or have been a victim of sexual abuse, please do not hesitate to contact Copeley Law. All calls and emails are confidential.