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Ex-camp worker returning to Missouri to face sex crimes charges

A onetime Missouri camp counselor has been arrested in another state and will be extradited to face charges of sex offenses back in Missouri. The 22-year-old man was a counselor at Kanakuk Kamps near Branson, Missouri, until July, when he was let go after an allegedly inappropriate incident took place.

The man was charged late last month with several counts including child molestation, sexual misconduct, statutory sodomy and attempted sodomy. The charges were filed after three boys between the ages of 9 and 12 told authorities that the man abused them at the Missouri camp.

Executives at the camp said that they reported the man's alleged actions to the parents of the campers, law enforcement officials and child protection agencies. Camp officials were familiar with the scenario; another former counselor pleaded guilty two years ago to sexually abusing several campers over a 10-year period. That man is serving two life sentences plus 30 years for his crimes.

The former counselor was arrested in his hometown in Alabama. His bond was initially set at $100,000. Each of the crimes he is accused of carries heavy prison sentences.

While the knee-jerk reaction of many people would be to assume that the Alabama man is guilty, he is entitled to his day in court. Because no adults were present during the alleged crimes other than the man itself, if the case goes to trial, jurors will have to rely on the testimony of the children who claim they were abused in order to convict the man -- far from a sure thing.

Source: The Springfield News-Leader, "Former Kanakuk Kamps counselor arrested in Alabama after being charged with sex crimes," Jess Rollins, April 3, 2012

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