A lawsuit against a Taney County Christian children’s camp will move forward after a judge refused to dismiss the case.
The suit, on behalf of John Doe IX, began in Taney County in 2015 as a response to a camp counselor who was sentenced in 2010 to two life terms plus 30 years for two counts of first-degree statutory sodomy, three counts of enticement of a child and three counts of second-degree statutory sodomy involving six boys.
The suit was moved to Christian County where it remains today.
Kanakuk Heritage, Inc. and Kanakuk Ministries are named as defendants in case, along with Newman and Kanakuk Ministries CEO Joe White. In recent weeks, a state appeals court and the state supreme court have denied a request by the defense to prohibit the case from moving forward.
On Wednesday, Christian County Judge Laura Johnson denied a motion to have the counts against the defendants dismissed. According to the online docket, on Tuesday, the plaintiffs had voluntarily dropped two other counts.
The current counts are based on an amended petition that was filed in August. The Branson Tri-Lakes News requested a copy of the petition from Christian County Court on Wednesday, but had not received it by deadline on Friday.
According to Branson Tri-Lakes News archives, the allegations made when the case was first filed in 2015 were that Joe White and Kanakuk knew the counselor, Peter Newman, had been involved in activities with children at the camp that involved Newman and the children being naked together, but nevertheless, Newman continued to be employed and that his access to boys was not limited.
According to online records, Newman is at the Jefferson City Correctional Center.