Christianity Today recently published this article, Kanakuk Kamps Abuse Reexamined In New Report, about a former Kanakuk director’s sexual abuse of children. Pete Newman worked for 15 years at the Christian camp in Missouri and as many as 57 victims have come forward. There could be hundreds of sexual abuse victims of Newman but because of nondisclosure agreements, victims and their families cannot publicly share their stories. Newman has been in prison since 2010, sentenced to two consecutive life sentences plus 30 years.
One way Newman groomed children was to “teach” campers about sexual topics from a Christian viewpoint before abusing them. He also was known to hang out with the campers and not his peers, and arranged individual sleepovers with the children.
Kanakuk continues to be among the best-known Christian camps in the country and 20,000 kids attend every summer. As part of its new Child Protection Program, Kanakuk now lists detailed guidelines on the relationship staff members can have with campers. Kanakuk also holds training sessions for other Christian camps on keeping children safe.
Whether it is schools, churches, sports teams, camps or some other youth program, know the red flags for sexual predator behavior. If you need an attorney to hold a perpetrator accountable for child sexual abuse, contact Lamothe Law Firm.