$29.6 million awarded to victims of ex-Kanakuk Kamps counselor convicted of sex crimes
BRANSON, Mo. (KY3) - A former Kanakuk Kamps counselor already convicted of sexually abusing young boys has been hit with another judgment in civil court, a case leading to $29.6 million for victims.
Peter Newman will spend the rest of his life in prison. He was sentenced to two life sentences 12 years ago after pleading guilty to sex crimes.
“I would gladly trade my life if I could take back the things that I’ve done and the pain that I caused,” Newman said at the time of his sentencing in June 2010.
Newman pleaded guilty to seven counts of sex crimes involving young boys at the camp, including statutory sodomy and enticement of a child.
“The victims wanted to have a voice and to hold their abuser responsible. The system worked. He was held responsible,” said attorney Craig Heideman, who represents some of Newman’s victims. In the past, he’s obtained civil judgments against him.
Earlier this month, another civil case was decided in favor of six young men who claimed they were sexually abused as children by Newman during their time at Kanakuk Kamp.
“That remedy comes in the form of a judgment,” Heideman said.
A Christian County judge awarded the victims a combined total of $29.6 million in damages.
“You’re never satisfied with an outcome where somebody’s been hurt because they’re never the same,” Heideman said about handling the case.
But Heidemann says his firm is committed to giving these victims their chance to be heard.
“When they’re ready to come forward and stand up for their rights, I think that all of them would probably agree, on one level or another, it’s part of the healing process,” he said.
Kanakuk Kamp has tried to distance itself from Newman and a few others accused of sex crimes involving children.
Recently they posted this notice to their website in response to the abuse and safety of children.
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