A federal judge in Texas has ordered parties from Kanakuk Kamp and its CEO Joe White and a Texas family whose son was sexually abused by former Kanakuk camp director Pete Newman try to reach an agreement through mediation.
Randy Turner of The Turner Report broke the story today in which Judge A. Joe Fish ordered the mandatory mediation. Fish noted in the motion that if either side can't reach an agreement within thirty days the case will head to a courtroom in August of 2013.
Last year the parents of the Texas boy, who was allegedly sexually molested by former Kanakuk Kamp director Pete Newman at the Taney County based youth camp, asked a federal judge to grant them an injuction/and or a restraining order against Kanakuk and its CEO Joe White.
The plaintiff's listed as John and Jane Doe, acting behalf of their son who attended the camp from 2005 - 2007, say that White and Kanakuk had kept in contact with them after they filed the federal lawsuit against White, Kanukuk, et. al, was filed on March 11,2011.
According to those documents, White and Kanakuk officials began contacting them on April 7th. "Since appearing in this case, defendants have maintained regular communications with the plaintiffs, directly, by way of mail, telephone, and e-mail, despite repeated requests (from both plaintiffs and plaintiffs' counsel) that they not do so."
The latest contact with the family was on July 8th, when "a package from Defendant White and his wife, arrived at the Doe home," according to court records. The continued contact has compounded the boy's "emotional and psychological problems that stem from his sexual abuse."
The Turley Law Firm filed the $10 million federal lawsuit against White, Newman, and Kanakuk after the Texas boy and other's were molested at the camp. They allege that instead of firing Newman - White ignored the situation and promoted him.
"At least as early as 1999, Defendant Joe T. White, Kanakuk Ministries and/or Kanakuk Heritage, Inc. knew that Newman, in the nude, was riding four-wheelers at the 'kamp' with nude 'kampers,' who were minor children entrusted to the care of Defendants. In response to this sexually inappropriate behavior, Newman was placed on probation," the plaintiff's attorney's wrote in court documents.
|Peter Daniel Newman (mug shot MDOC)|
The court records go on to say, "In or about 2003, a nude Defendant Newman was streaking through the 'kamp' property with nude minor 'kampers.' Although this conduct came to the attention of Defendants Joe T. White, Kanakuk Ministries, and/or Kanakuk, Heritage, Inc., again Newman remained on staff in easy reach of his future victims, including John Doe I."
The federal lawsuit was the second to be filed against Newman and Kanakuk, and the first to be filed against Joe White individually.
The first lawsuit was filed in Taney County in late January of 2011 by Mike Merrell and Alabama attorney G. Rick DiGiorgio on behalf of a Little Rock man who was 12 years-old when Newman began molesting him. That case has since been moved to Christian County on a change of venue that was requested by defense attorney's.
The plaintiff, who is now 19 years old, says officials at the youth camp swept reports of Newman's sexual abuse of campers under the rug and continued to employ him because he generated a huge amount of revenue for the company.
In a cost saving measure for the camp, Newman often asked families that had children active in Kanakuk's ministry if he could stay in their home while he was plugging "purity" for the camp. At the time of those visits the families were unaware that Newman was either sexually abusing their children or attempting to groom them for sexual abuse.
The latest filing in Texas could have some bearing on how the case plays out here in Missouri, according to Merrell.