Monday, August 01, 2005

Case of the Unnamed Cook at Camp Kee Tov

Case of the Unnamed Cook at Camp Kee Tov

Camp Kee Tov - Troy, MO (near St. Louis)
12 Milestone Campus Drive, St. Louis, MO 63146

Camp Kee Tov was accused of covering up sexual abuse by an employee.


Disclaimer: Inclusion in this website does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement. Individuals must decide for themselves if the resources meet their own personal needs.

  1. Youth: Camp Kee Tov (08/01/2005)
  2. Youth: Camp Kee Tov (09/01/2005)
  3. Vianney Accuser Has Filed One Previous Sexual Assault Lawsuit (02/22/2006)
  4. Judge Changes Mind; Family Suing Vianney Priest Can Remain Anonymous (02/23/2006)
  5. Camp accused in abuse suit will be closing this summer (02/24/2006)


Camp Kee Tov - August, 2005

About Us
Camp Kee Tov is...
an overnight summer camp experience for boys and girls entering 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades. Established in 1978, Camp Kee Tov is located one hour from St. Louis at the Edison Retreat Center in Troy, Missouri on 111 acres of forest with hiking trails, fields, and a creek. Facilities include a main lodge with fan-cooled dormitory sleeping and indoor plumbing, an air-conditioned dining hall, an outdoor chapel, an athletic field, and a beautiful swimming pool.

place to belong...
Camp Kee Tov offers an ideal first camping experience in a close, intimate setting. We can offer a special one-to-five relationship between campers and counselors because of our small numbers -- 40 campers per session. Counselors are selected on the basis of their educational background, maturity, camping experience and ability to work with children. Michelle Brooks is the Director and Shelley Dean is the Co-Director.

Every summer, two counselors from Israel bring alive the Jewish homeland through creative programming for the entire camp. In addition, a registered nurse is on site full time to administer all medications and tend to first aid needs. All camp staff is trained and certified in American Red Cross First Aid and CPR. Camp Kee Tov is a family -- a place to love and be loved -- and a community to which every camper belongs. As children play, study, pray, sing, and eat together, they develop deep and lasting Jewish friendships and feel a sense of belonging as never before.

A place to nurture the body...
Part of the excitement of summer is being outdoors using our bodies and feeling good about them. Activities include swimming, Maccabiah games, team sports, archery, and more! Campers are encouraged to develop their personal skills, to try new activities and to work cooperatively with others on the playing fields and in the pool. Everyone loves the food at camp. Menus are planned to consider both their nutritional value and the favorite foods of campers, including vegetarians.

At Camp Kee Tov, we know that you want to choose your own special interest activities. We offer a wide variety of elective activities every day. There chugim change every week, so you have an opportunity to take advantage of many new experiences.

A place to live and love Judaism...
Camp Kee Tov offers an opportunity for Reform Jewish living 24 hours a day. Arts and crafts, Jewish music as well as general camp songs, Israeli dance, drama, Hebrew, prayer services, and special campfires are all integrated into the total camp program. In addition, Jewish values are practiced in all aspects of daily living. Each week has its own unique theme with special guests. It is a place where we build self-esteem and where Jewish pride is always in the air!

Camp Kee Tov is a program of the Commission on Reform Jewish Education of the Central Agency for Jewish Education. Both Camp Kee Tov and the Edison Retreat Center are accredited by the American Camping Association. Camp Kee Tov is partially funded by the Jewish Federation of St. Louis.

A limited number of scholarships are available at member congregations.
For more information, contact Camp Kee Tov at (314) 442-3751, fax (314) 432-6150 or email our registrar, Laura Daigh, at

Recruitment Presentation Schedule
Meet Shelley Dean, Camp Kee Tov Co-Director and learn about an exciting camp experience at the following recruitment presentations:
January 9 Temple IsraelJanuary 16 Shaare EmethJanuary 30 Kol AmFebruary 13 Temple Emanuel


Youth: Camp Kee Tov

Thanks for visiting us. Camp Kee Tov is no longer in operation (as of September 2005).


Vianney Accuser Has Filed One Previous Sexual Assault Lawsuit

KSDK, MO - February 22, 2006

The father of a teenager, who says he was sexually assaulted by the president at Vianney High School, has filed one lawsuit before involving the alleged sexual assault of his son.
The case against Father Robert Osborne was filed on Tuesday. The popular priest stepped down that same day, for a leave of absence.

The older case is tied to a criminal case that resulted in the conviction of the boy's mother. The older case goes to 1999, and says the boy's mother, who was 41 at the time, had the boy at her apartment, as part of her weekly visitation stemming from a divorce.

The criminal case, reported by Kirkwood Police, says the mother sexually assaulted the ten year old over a period of hours. In 2003, four years later, police began their investigation.
In late 2004, a jury couldn't agree to convict her on 10 of the 11 charges against her. She was found guilty of exposing herself to the boy, but in a later plea bargain, was sentenced to 7 years in prison, where she remains.

During the court proceedings, one of the prosecution witnesses was Father Osborne, the same man who is accused of sexual contact with the teen. Osborne testified that the teen was having behavior problems at school, as the court date approached.

In other filings in the criminal case, one of the mother's bosses says she was a very proper woman, and would blush at the use of the word "butt" in mixed company.

The second case is also related to the mother, and her alleged sexual assault on her son. That case involves an incident that is alleged to have happened at a Silex, Missouri, summer camp, where the woman was working as a cook.

Court papers indicate her son was visiting the camp, when they were seen during intimate moment. An attorney familiar with the case says the suit alleges the camp operators didn't report the incident, nor stop it. No criminal charges were ever filed.

The operators of the camp declined comment. Newschannel 5 is not naming the teen, because he is the victim of at least one sexual assault. We are also not naming his mother or father, in an effort to protect his identity.


Judge Changes Mind; Family Suing Vianney Priest Can Remain Anonymous
KSDK, MO - February 23, 2006

St. Louis County Judge Carol Whittington has had a change of heart on whether the family suing the president of Vianney High School can remain anonymous.

Wednesday, Judge Whittington signed an order after John Doe 26, and his son, John Doe, filed suit against Father Robert Osborne, the president of St. John Vianney High School in Kirkwood. The suit alleges that Father Osborne sexually touched the student.

The judge first ordered that the anonymity must end. But Kenneth Chackes, the attorney for the family, countered with a request the order be rescinded. Chackes says publicizing the family's name would subject the teenager to ridicule and humiliation in the community.

However, an attorney who has represented several priests in similar cases, says it would be good to shine daylight on this case. Attorney James Martin says the family has already been through a previous sex abuse case, and publicity would do little damage.

Thursday evening, Judge Whittington reversed her previous order, and ruled that the suing family can continue to be listed as John Doe on the legal papers.

Meanwhile, the names of the family in question, the father, the alleged victim, his brother, and the boys' mother, are all included in a lawsuit filed in Lincoln County.

In that case, the father and two sons are suing a Jewish summer camp, saying the camp directors knew the boys were being sexually molested by their mother, and the camp did nothing to protect the boys.
The suit says the mother worked as a cook at the camp, and molested the boys when they visited her as part of court ordered custody arrangements.

The mother is currently serving a prison term for molesting the same teenager who is accusing the priest. That case ended in January, when the mother was sentenced to prison.

Prosecutors say the woman assaulted her son in 1999, when he was 10 years old. But the case wasn't prosecuted until 2003. The incidents at the summer camp happened between 1999 and 2000, but weren't reported until May 2005.

Newschannel 5 is not naming the family in this story, since it is our policy to protect the identity of sexual abuse victims.


Camp accused in abuse suit will be closing this summer
By Aisha Sultan
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO - February 24, 2006

A summer camp accused of covering up sexual abuse by an employee will shut down this summer due to declining enrollment - not in response to the allegations in a lawsuit by the alleged victim's father, according to the agency overseeing it.

"We are very upset by the allegations," said Jeffrey Lasday, executive vice president of the St. Louis Central Agency for Jewish Education. "There is absolutely no truth to it."

The agency had run Camp Kee Tov, near Troy, Mo., for two weeks each summer for more than 20 years, Lasday said.

The lawsuit, filed last summer, says a woman employed as a cook at the camp abused her son and another boy while they visited her there. The suit describes the boys as "participants" at the camp from 1998 until 2000, but Lasday said the boys were visitors.
The case came to the forefront this week after a separate lawsuit, in St. Louis County, accused the president of Vianney High School in Kirkwood of molesting the woman's son years later.

The earlier suit, in Lincoln County, alleges that the mother's abusive acts were witnessed by other camp employees and seen or reported to the camp director, Jan Goldman. It states that Goldman "actively attempted to cover up (the employee's) sexual activities and instructed camp employees to conceal them from investigating authorities."

Eric Selig, the attorney representing Goldman, declined to comment. A written response to the suit denies the allegations.

Lasday defended Goldman and other employees.

"First and foremost, we are very concerned with the health and safety of our students," Lasday said. When the allegations were made, the entire staff was questioned and a "thorough investigation" was undertaken, he said.

"We feel nothing happened," he said.

The camp lodged about 40 children from the third through fifth grades in each one-week session. Lasday said the camp in recent years faced increased competition from other Jewish camps and a smaller pool of children, prompting the decision to close.

The camp was accredited by the American Camp Association and conducted criminal background checks on all its employees. In unrelated cases, the accused cook was convicted by a jury in September of 2004 of sexual misconduct involving a child and indecent exposure involving her son, and she pleaded guilty in January of 2005 to statutory rape and statutory sodomy. She is serving a seven-year term.


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