Man arrested in abuse case, Sheriff says

Man arrested in abuse case, Sheriff says

MOUNTAIN VIEW, AR (KAIT) - A Poinsett County man faces numerous charges in connection with an investigation into abuse at a Stone County church camp last month.

According to Stone County Sheriff Lance Bonds, Coty Shawn Penter of Trumann was arrested on suspicion of nine counts of third-degree battery after the investigation into a youth camp at Bethel Church Camp.

Earlier this week, officials in Stone County said they were looking into the allegations at the camp, where a counselor reportedly used a switch on juveniles to discipline them.

Deputies went to the camp on Dump Mountain Road in Stone County on June 30, Bonds said.

The media release says a youth counselor from the Trumann area was being investigated.

"A youth counselor from the Trumann, Arkansas area was in charge of several juveniles between the ages of 11 and 17, when he took it upon himself to discipline the juveniles with a switch," Sheriff Lance Bonds said in the statement. "According to the parents of the juveniles and the juveniles themselves, after being struck with the switch, marks and bruising were left on the juvenile's bodies."

Bonds said Trumann police played a huge role in helping to find Penter, whose bond was set at $3,915.

Penter is set to appear in Stone County District Court on July 26, Bonds said.

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