|Lee Julian Bradberry is facing up to life in prison if convicted of present charges|
There's more trouble involving another staff member having inappropriate contact with campers at Kankuk Kamp.
Authorities in Taney County issued an arrest warrant for, Lee Julian Bradberry, 22, of Auburn, Alabama, last week after he was charged with two counts of first-degree child molestation, one count of sexual misconduct with a child under the age of fifteen and one count of attempted statutory sodomy, according to court documents.
This is the third time in three years that charges have been filed against former employees or volunteers connected to Kanakuk.
According to the probable cause statement, there are at least three alleged male victims, aged 9, 10 and 12 years-old at the time the alleged incidents occurred between June 21 and July 16, 2011.
In July of last year an investigation was launched after the 9 and 10 year-olds' told authorities
that they were abused while they attended the Branson based Christian youth camp.
In August of 2011 the boys told caseworkers that Bradberry taught them a game called "baseball" where he grabbed their penis from outside of their clothing and called it, "a grand slam." The boys also said that Bradberry would have them sit on his lap while they attended camp concerts and "he would often place his hand on the inner thigh of the victims and then eventually move his hand upward and rest it on their penis" on the outside of their clothing.
On March 5, 2012, the 12 year-old told authorities that he and Bradberry had engaged in fondling, masturbation and that Bradberry had "attempted oral sex ” with the victim, according to court documents.
The detective said he contacted Kanakuk director Collin Sparks on March 9th regarding Bradberry. Sparks told investigators that he talked with Bradberry, whom the probable cause statement describes as an “ex-employee and camp counselor,” on the phone in February of 2012.
However, most of the details of what Sparks told the investigator were redacted from the probable cause statement.
The first known trouble of inappropriate sexual activity inside the camp surfaced in 2009 after Peter Daniel Newman, the former assistant director of the camp, was charged with multiple sex charges involving underage male campers.
|Peter Daniel Newman will spend the rest of his life in prison|
In June of 2010 Newman pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree statutory sodomy, three counts of second-degree statutory sodomy, and three counts of enticement of a child and was sentenced to two life terms plus 30 years in prison.
In February of 2011 the first civil lawsuits were filed on behalf of Newman's victims and that case is now working its way through the court system.
In March of 2011, Edward L. Ringheim of Windermere, Florida, was charged with seven felony counts of lewd and lascivious molestation in connection to young boys he transported from Florida to Kanakuk Kamp in Branson.
|Edward L. Ringheim|
Ringheim, worked at Universal Studios and volunteered for K-Life in Orlando. Authorities allege he used free passes to the amusement park as enticement to molest some of the boys he accompanied to Branson.
Doug Goodwin, chief operating officer of Kanakuk, issued a statement after the newest charges were filed, saying Bradberry’s employment was terminated after campers reported “one instance in which (he) behaved inappropriately.”
“As soon as this first indication of inappropriate behavior was brought to our attention, we immediately dismissed Bradberry and reported his behavior to the parents of the campers involved, law enforcement and child protection authorities,” Goodwin said.
He said the investigation that was launched following Bradberry’s termination ultimately resulted in the discovery of additional victims.
“We grieve with and are praying for those impacted by this situation,” Goodwin said. “We applaud the courage shown by campers who reported this staffer’s behavior — potentially helping to prevent further abuse.”
Goodwin said Kanakuk has since implemented "a comprehensive Child Protection Plan that combines rigorous policies, extensive staff training, age-appropriate education for campers and encouragement of all staff and campers to report any questionable behavior. Sadly we now believe that in 2011 that Child Protection Plan was needed to play a role in helping to identify and stop another threat."
A $100,000 bond has been set for Bradberry.
Bradberry was arrested at a residence in Auburn, Alabama, and jailed at the Lee County Detention Center. He is awaiting extradition back to Missouri.
Statement from Kanakuk Kamps:
At Kanakuk the safety and protection of children is our number one priority. That is why we have implemented a comprehensive Child Protection Plan that combines rigorous policies, extensive staff training, age-appropriate education for campers and encouragement of all staff and campers to report any questionable behavior. Sadly we now believe that in 2011 that Child Protection Plan was needed to play a role in helping to identify and stop another threat.
Today a Missouri prosecutor charged Lee Bradberry, a former collegiate, summer staffer, with six counts related to incidents involving three campers during July 2011. We terminated Bradberry from his position in July 2011 after campers reported one incident in which Bradberry behaved inappropriately. As soon as this first indication of inappropriate behavior was brought to our attention, we immediately dismissed Bradberry and reported his behavior to the parents of the campers involved, law enforcement and child protection authorities. Law enforcement and child protection authorities began an investigation at that time. The ensuing investigation led to the discovery of other inappropriate behavior and ultimately to today's charges.
We will continue to build on our Child Protection Plan which includes:
-Professional criminal background checks for every employee
-Mandatory sexual abuse prevention training for every staff member
-Age-appropriate information for all campers about safety and personal boundaries; campers and staff are taught to recognize, resist and report any inappropriate behavior - that is what happened to prevent further crimes in this case
-Staff education conducted by nationally recognized sexual abuse prevention experts
-Training key staff in advanced screening and detection techniques
-Educating all campers and staff on how to report inappropriate or questionable behavior
-Educating and encouraging parents to engage their kids with appropriate discussions on physical boundaries and sexual abuse issues
-Private and secure reporting locations in every camp at Kanakuk
During our 87 years of Kamp, more than 50,000 summer staffers have positively impacted over 300,000 campers. This abuse runs counter to everything we stand for at Kanakuk. And, we are more determined than ever to keep fighting with everything we have to make this the safest place possible for kids to encounter Jesus and His Gospel.