Camp Counselor Charged
Coty Shawn Penter of Trumann was arrested on July 5, and charged with nine counts of third degree battery after allegedly striking juveniles at a local youth camp.
Stone County Sheriff Lance Bonds said that on June 30 deputies responded to Dump Mountain Road in Stone County in reference to an abuse call from a youth camp being held at the Bethel Church Camp.
According to the police report, Penter was serving as a youth counselor for several juveniles between the ages of 9 and 17 when he took it upon himself to discipline the juveniles with a switch.
Penter left the camp prior to deputies being contacted.
According to the juveniles and their parents, marks and bruising were left on the juveniles’ bodies. These injuries were documented by investigators. The juveniles stated Penter would tell them to do something, and if they weren’t moving fast enough, Penter would strike them with a switch. At one point, Penter held one of the juveniles down and struck him with a switch numerous times.
His bond was set at $3,915 with a court date of July 26 in Stone County District Court.
The Trumann Police Department assisted in locating Penter and with the investigation.From the July 12, 2017 issue.