Pete Newman Goes to the Slammer. Like, Forever.

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  • bc

    How far down the list is Circuit Judge Mark Orr in the running for the next Pope? Sounds like he might be able to get some things done…

  • MK

    While I’m glad that the court recognized the enormity of the victims’ suffering by imposing such a harsh sentence, this is just a sad story all the way around. Hopefully, Pete Newman will be able to serve his prison community in some useful fashion (teaching, Bible study). I can’t imagine what this has done to his wife and child. I also hope the victims are able to move forward with their lives now that the sentencing has ocurred.

  • Special K

    See you later alligator. It’s sad to think that these seven cases are probably not going to be the last he’s charged with.

  • Sincerely interested

    MK I wholeheartedly agree. I am so saddened by this tragedy. His family and his victims will have their own form of prison to live in forever. I am glad he will not be able to victimize others anymore.

  • hpparent

    Take a look at this website – – it describes a probationary agreement Pete Newman signed with Kanakuk in 2003 acknowledging sexual improprieties with young boys. 2003! I am sickened.

  • Dcdad

    He’ll get his.

  • campmama

    I just read yesterday that a Camp Stewart counselor was also arrested last summer for allegedly molesting three very young boys at camp. I had heard nothing about that on this blog or in the park cities – perhaps there are not many boys from the park cities that go to Stewart?

  • Gringo

    You’re either a sicko or you’re not. No gray area on that one.

  • amanda

    The best part of yesterday’s sentencing hearing (other than the sentence) was Newman’s own paid expert witness who said, in effect that Newman isn’t a pedophile…he’s just gay. That sent several of my gay friends into fits… Newman’s shrink testified that he could be “treated” for being gay. Oh, really…that’s how that works? The state’s shrink testified that Newman was likely to re-offend as he worked at Kanakuk for 10 years, molesting boys the entire time without getting caught. Oh, and Newman also admitted to having sexual attraction to girls aged 10-15. He’s not gay. He’s sick.

    My heart breaks for the victims and their families. For them, the journey toward recovery is just beginning.

  • peter griffin

    for pete’s sake,
    he is headed to the slammer.
    then straight to Hell.

  • Sharpay

    His paid expert’s testimony was outrageous – he’s not a pedophile because he’s attracted to post-pubescent 12-15 year-old girls and boys?! I agree with Amanda, Newman’s not gay, he’s sick. And they should keep the shrink away from Kanakuk, too.

  • Neal

    Ten comments and so far no one has spelled “camp” with a “k”.


  • JusticeLeague

    Hpparent–If you read carefully, it says Newman signed a probationary agreement in 2003, because of something that happened AT Kanakuk. It did not say he signed a probationary agreement WITH Kanakuk. (The probationary agreement would’ve been with the state, not Kanakuk). I don’t know what happened, but there is a chance that Kanakuk did not even know what happened in ’03. I am absolutely certain his wife did not, so there is the chance Kamp did not either. If they did, they are certainly facing the consequences now.

    Personally, I am glad that Newman is going away now for a very long time. He can repent in prison.

  • Don’t drink the “K”ool-Aid

    Justice League,

    Been grasping it straws lately? To seriously suggest the state would have him sign a “probationary agreement” is a joke. He could possibly have been put on probation by the state if charges had been brought against him back then and he was sentenced to probation…In case you have been living in a cave for the last YEAR the fact is that multiple parents brought concerns about Pete to camp leadership over several years. He signed a probationary agreement with them in 2003 after they had him evaluated by Joes good friend Gary Smalley. They did this knowing he was behaving inapproprately with young boys and rather than terminating his employment and removing his access to OUR kids who were entrusted to them they PROMOTED him to a director position at K-Kountry which gave him even more freedoms to have access to kids.. They did not follow their own policies. I for one am SICK of people still defending thier actions. WAKE UP people! Until they recognize the role they played in giving Pete the perfect hunting grounds at Kanakuk and until parents ask them the hard questions, how are we to know they are now competent enought not to make the same mistakes! I am not saying what they did was necessarily criminal, that still remains to be seen, but is was defnitely seriously lacking in judgement in the protection of kids, which should be one of their first priorities considering the type of business they are running. Quit making excuses for them!

  • concernedmom

    This all boils down to greed. Pete Newman was the camp’s rainmaker…and Joe chose to look the other way as long as business was good. Shame on him. Pete Newman is sick and for that he will pay eternally for his crimes. Joe and all who knew about this probationary agreement, on the other hand, managed to escape justice in this world, but just wait ti they get to the other side. My heart bleeds for the victims of these sick people. I PRAY that parents have learned their lesson (unfortunately at these poor boys expense) and have the guts to question anything that does not seem right to them, especially when it comes to their kids. If it looks like a rat and smells like a rat then it probably is a rat.

  • Okay.. I guess I’m dumb. I have not heard Joe address the probationary period in 2003. I would love to know how a lot of other people seem to know about this. To my understanding as well, the “actions” were never on kamp grounds or during kamp terms. That does NOT make these “actions” any less HORRIFIC!I will be writing to Joe personally, and ask for answers. If kamp hid behind these accusations since 2003, it breaks my heart. There are rules and policies in place to protect our kids. It failed. It fails in our home towns, schools and churches as well. We need to educate our children to protect themselves and YELL OUT if someone, ANYONE, is asking them to do things that are wrong. MUCH EASIER SAID THAN DONE and a HORRIBLE thing to ask our children to do… especially against adults, mentors, friends, etc. This is the world we live in today… no matter where our kids are.

  • Don’t drink the “K”ool-Aid


    I did write Joe personally and he would not directly answer any of my questions about these issues which was heartbreaking to us since we have been a camp family for two generations, and my guess is you will probably have the same experience. However, the 2003 improper conduct that pete was placed on probation for by Kanakuk was addressed during Pete’s trial and his own expert witness admitted it under oath. There are clips of this exchange on the internet that you can view for yourself. Also, the Taney county DA is a good source of information regarding whether camp had any prior knowledge of improper conduct, camp leadership knew there were issues even prior to the 2003 incident, not necessarily criminal but they knew there were improper actions by Pete. I was able to get more questions answered by the DA’s office than by Joe himself which was a huge disappointment to me. As far as your question of it happening on camp grounds or during camp terms, The probable cause statement that was released when pete was charged stated there was abuse at the K-Dome and on camp grounds during father son retreats at a minimum. Our own personal experience with Pete was the fact that he left camp grounds, with our son, alone, during his camp term. We did not find out about this until we started having these conversations with our son when the truth finally came out about Pete’s “personal family crisis” as Joe called it. This is a complete violation of camp policies which were not ever enforced with Pete for some reason. Based on the nature of how prolific pete was with his manipulation and abuse, and the fact that he plead guilty to a limited number of charges, most likely to keep from going to trial and having more of the truth come out. We have probably only scratched the surface of the extent of his abuse on and off camp grounds. You are so correct that unfortunately this is part of the world we live in, no matter where our kids are…the tragic part of this is that in this instance, some kids did come forward, and parents did raise the flags, but they were ignored and the fall out from those decisions have been life changing for countless kids. I do not want to see camp crash and burn over this, because when all is said and done they have done so many wonderful things for so many families…but it would sure give some of us alot more confidence if they would admit the part they played in this tragedy…otherwise how can we be sure they have learned anything from it and are equipped not to allow history to repeat itself on their watch.

  • @don’t drink the “k”ool aid: I am going to write Joe, especially after reading your blog. Kamp is in God’s hands and us parents deserve the truth and the chips fall where they may. I appreciate you response and “not harping” on me. You were tactful and respectful. Thanks! I think Kanakuk is a wonderful place and it has been such an important part of my life and my children. I cannot imagine having something like this happen to one of them though and how I would feel! HEARTBREAKING!!! I had not kept up with the news and for some reason googled yesterday. I was literally unable to breathe for a few minutes. I do believe he got what he deserves, but it is still hard because SO FEW Get FAR less sentences and done FAR MORE! I think the judge used Pete as an example – especially his conduct with kids and the “Christian Athletic” kamp. Again, thanks so very much! Prayer and hugs to your hurting family and the others!!!

  • Kiowa Princess

    Kamp, with a “K”, is an amazing place. I drank the “k”ool-aid as a kamper for 11 summers & I will continue to drink the “k”ool aid as an adult; probably until the day I die. I cherish my many memories & kamp friends I still have to this day. I would not think twice about sending my kids to kamp for the 28 day term to soak up the full message & experience. I miss kamp every summer & currently have a nostalgic kamp pic up as my FB profile pic – totally coincidental.

    PN was no “rainmaker” for kamp, let me asure you. Kamp is it’s own rainmaker & has the years + happy kampers to back it up. It’s the total experience, the sports, the coffee cake, the I’m Third Speech, trip, honor cabin, superdeal, com-pe-ti-tion, the blob, & the incredible spiritual uplift that gets kids through the pressures of the upcoming school year. THAT’S why we all want to go back year after year & look forward to it. NOT because of one person, like a PN. It’s awesome to hear Joe White speak & back in the day it was Spike White. Love that man. But no one went or goes to kamp because of Joe White either. Come on.

    Shame on anyone to insinuate there was some sort of cover up or better yet, a promotion, handed out after concerns over conduct. We all know what Kanakuk Kamp represents & what it stands for. To think anything else is absolutely bogus.

  • Cherokee Chief

    I have been a kamper at kanakuk for years and have loved every minute of it. I knew Pete on a very personal level as well. He lead me to Christ and without Him, I would not be where I am today in my walk. Pete had the ability to bring his audience to tears with his sincere and genuine talks. He is a man of God who has a sick and disturbing sin in his life. He let it grow and he did not snuff it out when he it was small. This sin is without a doubt one of the most heinous sins known to man and the people he was closest to will suffer forever, but do not forget… so will Pete. We need to remember to pray for him no matter what we feel towards him. Despite his actions, I have come to forgive Pete for the hurt he caused me and so many others. I pray for him and hope that this experience can bring me and others closer to our great and loving God. Daniel 9:9 says that

    “the Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against Him.”

    We need to be merciful and forgiving to Pete. Let none of us pass judgement on another sinner. No matter the magnitude of his sins. Remember to love and pray for Pete, his family, and the people this all has affected. We need it.

  • JDub

    I grew up with Pete and his brother and I know his family well. I was in complete & utter shock after hearing all of this. I was very angry because only months before this all came out I spoke w/ Pete about sending my son to camp. If you knew this person as I am sure many of you do, I am sure you felt the same but I think as Cherokee Chief said we as Christians need to pray for him, his victims and his family. It is up to God to punish Pete the way he sees fit. My heart goes out to all the boys & there families for what he put you through and I will pray for you today and always. Remember,no man walking this earth is perfect nor righteous enough to condemn any other man. I am sure that Pete had been living in his own hell for many years, I just hope these boys and young men are strong enough to pull through and move on with their lives, God does love you!!!! Our entire community in which Pete grew up was also in shock, he touched so many lives in a positive way! It goes to show you just how strong the devil really is.



  • earl

    in response to peter griffin, who are you to decide who goes to hell or not. it is written, “let he who is sinless cast the first stone”. in God’s eyes, all sins are equal and forgivable. im sure you have some sin you struggle with, as everyone does. In pete’s case it was child molestation, for others it is lying… same thing to God. with his sincere repentance, God will gladly accept him into heaven

  • anonymous

    Despite the many good memories that you shared at Kamp, Joe is responsible for letting Pete have access to children after he knew of his behavior. While Pete is responsible for the actual abuse, Joe is just as responsible. He should never be allowed to own a business that has anything to do with children, as obviously, his judgement cannot be trusted. It is not acceptable to employ anyone who has a history of abusing children to work with children, EVER. Our children’s safety is not worth the risk even if you believe the risk is minimal. Who is going to step up and make sure that Joe can never enable another abuser?

  • I have covered this case from the beginning and was in the courtroom when Pete Newman was sentenced.

    Joe White KNEW what was going on with Newman in 1999 and decided to promote him, instead of fire him, as he should have when the first incident of him riding naked on four wheelers with young boys who were also naked came to light.

    Then we have the 2003 incident where Newman and a group of young boys “streaked” through the camp. White and other leaders at the “Kamp” continued to not only let Newman pray with young boys….but prey on them as well.

    The problem I have with White and Kanakuk is that they continued to employ Newman for years(even sending him to stay in the homes of some of the boys he molested to recruit other kampers)AFTER they had him sign a probationary agreement acknowledging his inappropriate behavior with young boys all in the name of PROFIT…not a Prophet!

  • concernedmom

    Ok, folks… read Kathee Baird’s previous blog! Sham on Joe White. Of course he knew

  • Kiowa Princess

    @Concerned Mom, Kathee Baird has cut and pasted that same canned speech on every single blog on this topic. No clue who she is. She has nothing else to add, I suppose.

    I do love knowing that this summer Kanakuk Kamp terms are completely filled. I LOVE seeing the bright and happy faces of all the kiddos having the time of their lives this summer. I know this is true because I’ve seen it with my own eyes, in cabin messages to the parents, and in their activities.

    If I could live at Kamp I would. I guess watching the classic I’m Third speech given by Joe White this past Sunday, on You Tue will have to suffice. It’s still the best place on earth.

  • JW

    Lots of hate and a little bit of love posted here. My 3 boys went to camp every summer for over a decade.They are wonderful young adults now in part to the Kanakuk experience and Pete Newman. Sin affects every fallable human. Let’s don’t forget that. Pete Newman is no different. What is different I suppose for everyone is their capacity to forgive. Thank God I serve a merciful God, one who love’s me unconditionally in spite of my imperfections. Can God forgive Pete? Absolutely. Can Pete forgive himself? I hope so. This is a time for faith and prayer and not ridicule or judgement. We should leave any judgement to God himself because only he is worthy…..

  • There’s another sex scandal brewing for Kanakuk. If interested read more here: