New Kanakuk Ministries lawsuit alleges more sexual abuse in Dallas
A Dallas man is suing Kanakuk Ministries and its former camp director Pete Newman for negligence, fraud and emotional harm related to sexual abuse.
The Turley Law Firm filed the suit in U.S. District Court for the northern district of Texas on August 2. The new lawsuit comes on the heels of the conclusion of a similar 2011 case.
Linda Turley represented Joe Alarcon along with his wife, Brandi, and son, Ashton, in a settlement with Kanakuk in April 2013. The documents concerning the settlement are sealed.
The Turley Law Firm is also representing the Dallas plaintiff in the latest lawsuit stemming from Newman’s 2010 conviction for sexually assaulting campers. Newman has said he’s unsure how many boys he molested while working at the Christian summer camp in Missouri. He is serving two life sentences, plus 30 years.
The suit names plaintiff John Doe III and a host of Kanakuk-related entities. It concerns alleged sexual abuse from 2001 to 2007, when Doe was ages 10 to 16. Though Doe now lives on the East Coast, he was living in Dallas at the time he was recruited to attend Kanakuk, and several incidents of abuse reportedly occurred at his family’s Dallas home.
As in the Alarcons’ lawsuit, this case alleges that Kanakuk was aware of Newman’s perverse proclivities and yet never alerted authorities. Instead, after reports that Newman had participated in naked activities such as swimming and four wheeling in 2003, he was promoted to camp director.
Doe accuses Newman of seeking him out through calls, emails, letters and text messages before and during his sexual abuse. Doe says he was abused at his Dallas home; on Kanakuk promotional trips throughout Texas; and on Missouri campgrounds in the cabins, gym, pool and showers.
“[Kanakuk] had every reason to know that Defendant Newman, a sexual predator, was operating freely in the Kanakuk Kamps and placing young boys at risk for sexual abuse and molestation and the lifelong burdens that childhood sexual abuse creates,” the suit reads.
In addition to swimming, riding four wheelers and playing basketball naked with campers, Newman is accused of sexual conduct with Doe including masturbation, oral sex and sodomy.
“Newman’s abuse of John Doe III occurred under the mantle and with the cloak of trust and authority placed upon him by [Kanakuk],” the suit reads.
In a statement on behalf of Kanakuk Ministries, Ken Fields of Fleishman Hillard said he could not comment on the new litigation but expressed sympathy for Newman's victims.
"We continue to lift up in our prayers the young people and families who’ve been victimized by Pete Newman’s actions. In our more than 85 years, we have never had nor will we ever have, any tolerance for anyone who seeks to harm a child in any way."