Thursday, July 14, 2011
Aug. 8 child molestation trial set for Florida man connected with Kanakuk
An Aug. 8 trial is scheduled in Orange County, Florida, Circuit Court for a former Universal Orlando employee charged with seven counts of lewd and lascivious molestation involving underage boys.
Edward Ringheim, 39, Windermere, Florida, is the second trusted adult figure connected to Kanakuk Kamps in Branson to be charged with sexually abusing boys. The first, former camp director Pete Newman, pleaded guilty and is serving two life sentences, plus 30 years, in prison
Ringheim allegedly treated young men to free trips to Universal Studios by using his employee pass, one of the victims told authorities
Parents also let Ringheim accompany their children to Kanakuk's Branson, Missouri, facility according to published reports. Investigators say he brought about 30 kids to Kanakuk for summer camp over a four year period.
The arrest of Ringheim occurred just a few short weeks after a lawsuit filed in U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas alleged that Kanakuk officials, including President Joe White, were negligent in allowing Newman to molest dozens of boys over a 10 year period. The lawsuit alleges that White and Kanakuk officials ignored warning signs by allowing Newman to continue working at the camp and dealing with youngsters after incidents in 1999 and 2003 in which Newman and underage boys cavorted naked.
The lawsuit was the second filed this year against Kanakuk and Newman. The first, filed Jan. 31 in Taney County Circuit Court, also charges negligence in allowing a minor boy to be molested.
In the Florida case, Ringheim is free on $10,000 bond, but has been equipped with a GPS device and is not allowed to use social networkins sites or to be in touch with anyone from Kanakuk's Orlando K-Life operation.