A man who recently confessed to abusing a 9-year-old girl at a day-care facility in Littleton, Colo., once worked in a similar field in the Branson area, though no complaints about his behavior were ever filed.
Paul James Kerr, 33, of Glendale, Colo., was arrested in April 2011 on suspicions that he had assaulted children in his care.
According to a press release from the city of Littleton, the KinderCare center at which Kerr had been employed first reported the case to the Arapahoe County (Colo.) Department of Human Services after receiving a complaint from a parent.
Earlier this month, Kerr admitted to abusing a 9-year-old female at the center, according to another release. He also reportedly confessed to spying on a two girls, ages 10 and 5, on separate occasions while they were using the restroom.
The release said that, pursuant to a plea agreement, Kerr will serve only 45 days in jail, provided he completes 10 years of sex offender probation.
The program requires Kerr to undergo treatment and polygraph tests and imposes curfews and geographic boundaries. If he violates any of the conditions, he could be sentenced to between four years and life in prison.
According to Kim Ferber, a lieutenant for the Littleton Police Department, Kerr said he worked at Kanakuk Kamps from 1998-2005. He had lived in the area since at least 1997.
Contacted this week, both Taney County Sheriff Jimmie Russell and Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Merrell said they have no records of complaints or referrals ever being filed against Kerr.
Ken Fields, spokesman for Kanakuk, confirmed Kerr was “a former seasonal staffer,” but said the camp could offer no additional information on the case.
“There is no indication of any inappropriate activity during that seasonal staffer’s time several years ago in Missouri,” he said.
This is not the first time sexual abuse cases have had ties to Kanakuk. Peter Daniel Newman, a former director of the camp, is currently serving more than two life sentences in state prison after pleading guilty in Taney County Circuit Court to multiple charges of molesting male campers.
In a 2009 statement shortly after the charges against Newman were filed, Kanakuk owners Joe and Debbie Jo White said his employment was terminated immediately when they became aware of his conduct.
And in March 2011, Edward Ringheim, of Windemere, Fla., was charged with molesting underage males, at least one of which he met while volunteering with a K-Life trip to Branson.
K-Life is a nationwide youth organization that began as a follow-up ministry to Kanakuk Kamps. According to its website, it now “runs parallel with, yet separate from” the camp.
Kanakuk and Newman are also defendants in two civil cases filed last year, one in Christian County and another in U.S. District Court in Dallas, Texas. Joe White is also a defendant in the federal suit.