|Peter "Pete" Daniel Newman (DOC mug shot)|
A federal lawsuit has been filed in Dallas, Texas, against Kanakuk Kamp Ministries, Kanakuk Heritage, Inc., Joe White and former camp director Peter "Pete" Newman.
In February of last year Newman pleaded guilty, without a plea agreement, to two counts of first-degree statutory sodomy, three counts of second-degree statutory sodomy and three counts of enticement of a child that took place at the sports camp based in Taney County. He was sentenced last June to two life sentences, plus thirty years.
The federal lawsuit in Texas was filed by the parents of John Doe I. The father of the boy says he made the decision to send his son to Kanakuk after seeing Joe White speak at a Promise Keepers meeting at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas.
|Kanakuk Kamp owner Joe T. White|
Jane and John Doe say their son attended the camp during the summers of 2005, 2006 and 2007 when he was aged 10 - 12.
Court documents filed with the Texas lawsuit say that Newman was allowed to work at Kanakuk Kamps for almost a decade after incidents of Newman's nudity with minor campers and inappropriate behavior came to the attention of Kanakuk Kamp owner Joe T. White and others at Kanakuk Kamp in 1999.
In the probable cause statement used to charge Newman in Taney County in September of 2009 an investigator writes:
"Between 2005 and 2008, Pete Newman became a close friend of by attending family dinners, sleepovers, bible studies, taking vacations together and writing letters. Pete would hold one-on-one sessions with (the boy) in Pete's hot tub (at Pete's residence) and would request they be naked. Pete would discuss life's struggles with (him) and talk about masturbation. Pete would explain that if (the boy) would masturbate with him in his hot tub then there would be no lust and therefore (the boy) would not be sinning."
|Attorney Linda Turley|
Court documents say that as early as 1999, White and Kanakuk Kamps (et. al) knew that Newman was riding four wheelers nude with "kampers," who were minor children, entrusted to the care of the defendants. Instead of firing Newman, the lawsuit says, he "was placed on probation," by the company.
It also reveals that in 2003 Newman's questionable behavior with young male campers was again brought to the attention of White after he and a group of young boys "streaked" through the camp. Again, Newman remained on Kanakuk's payroll.
The lawsuit maintains that because Kanakuk and White continued to employ Newman after becoming aware of his inappropriate behavior "they approved of his conduct."
Linda Turley, of the Turley Law Firm in Dallas says, "This case is one in our continuing effort to obtain justice for the victims of childhood sexual abuse. By shining a light on this very serious issue we hope these Defendants and others will take the necessary steps to keep sexual predators away from children."
Last month attorney's Mike Merrell and G. Rick DiGiorgio filed the first civil lawsuit against the camp, White and Newman in Taney County.
Turley says Kanakuk has actively recruited Texas campers for years at informational meetings, by mail, email and phone.
Newman traveled around the country recruiting campers for Kankuk and often stayed with the families of young boys who say he abused them not only at the camp, but also inside their homes when he represented the business.
Sex charges were filed against Newman in La Plata County, Colorado following a similar incident with a young boy at Kanakuk's K-Colorado facility (which was sold to White's daughter and son-in-law and has been renamed KIVU) in September of 2008. Those charges were dismissed following Newman's double life sentence in Missouri.
Authorities in Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama and other states have expressed interest in pursuing similar charges against Newman.
The federal lawsuit says that John Doe I has suffered medical and psychological injuries and will continue to need treatment, "The childhood sexual abuse of John Doe I in the context of what was purported to be Christian ministry further complicated his injuries and treatment."
The Turley Law Firm won a $119 Million dollar judgement against the Catholic Diocese in Texas for covering up the conduct of a pedophile priest. Defrocked Roman Catholic priest Ruldoph "Rudy" Kos was convicted of multiple counts of child molestation against altar boys and is serving four life sentences.
The plaintiff's want a jury trial and are seeking damages in excess of $75,000.