The Taney County Prosecuting Attorney filed a motion Monday to protect the child witnesses expected to testify about former Kanakuk Kamp director Pete Newman when he comes to trial on felony sex charges. If Judge Tony Williams approves the state's motion, it will be one of the first times that Missouri's new Child Witness Protection Act, has been employed since it became law Aug. 28.
Newman is charged with two counts of sexual misconduct and single counts of statutory sodomy and sexual misconduct involving a child under 15. The Taney County prosecuting attorney has said that Newman's acts, all with underage boys, took place over a 10-year period.
The Child Witness Protection Act is printed below:
The “Child Witness Protection Act” was created in 491.725 RSMo. to give courts the discretion to make numerous changes to
court procedures to help prevent children from becoming confused, intimidated or harassed when they participate in court prceedings.
Some of the accomodations include changes to the oath required of witnesses to make it more easily understood by children, limiting the duration or timing of questioning, rephrasing confusing or harassing questions, changing the layout of the courtroom, or allowing the child to hold a toy, blanket or similar item during testimony. Perhaps most importantly, the court may designate a “support person” who may accompany a child to the witness box and remain near the child but who may not obstruct the defendant’s view of the child-witness or influence the child’s testimony in any way.
Previous Turner Report posts on Pete Newman can be found at this link.
(Randy Turner's new book, Newspaper Days, is available at Amazon.com.)