Kent Peters Statement
Erin Bergen, Director of Student Advocacy
Into Account has received numerous reports from young women who describe grooming, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse perpetrated by Kent Peters of Newton, Kansas. Some of them reported that they were originally contacted and targeted by Peters when they were minors. The contact began at high school and collegiate sporting events and at Camp Mennoscah, where Peters was a longtime counselor and served on the board.
In the time since we have received these reports, Into Account has worked with the women to contact the organizations where Peters has had access to young women and girls, so that these organizations are aware of his patterns of behavior. These organizations are Bethel College (North Newton, Kansas), Camp Mennoscah (Murdock, Kansas), Hesston College (Kansas), Mennonite Mission Network, Mennonite Church USA, Newton High School (Kansas), Goessel High School (Kansas), and Hesston High School (Kansas). There are now several investigations underway of Peters’ treatment of girls and women.
We want survivors to know that they have options for reporting. For those who have experienced grooming and sexual abuse, it can be difficult to navigate options while also dealing with memories of traumatic, demeaning, or confusing experiences. If you are considering making a report to one or more of the organizations above and/or to law enforcement, and aren’t sure where to start, Into Account is here to provide confidential, free support for you. We’ll give you the best information we have and accompany you through any reports you decide to make. We can help protect your autonomy and your privacy so that you have the space and time to make the best decision for you.
Please share this among Mennonite and Camp Mennoscah communities so that people who have been targeted by Peters can be informed of these developments, and seek accountability if they choose to do so.