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Charity co-founder charged with multiple counts of child sex abuse

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The co-founder of a charity to aid Ethiopian orphans has been charged with sexual abuse of a child.

Charges against Lon Kennard
  • 24 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, 1st-degree felony
  • 21 counts of sex exploitation of a minor, 2nd-degree felony
  • 1 count of forcible sex abuse, 2nd-degree felony
  • 1 count of tampering with witness or juror, 3rd-degree felony

Wasatch County Attorney Scott Sweat says Lon Harvey Kennard faces 24 first-degree felony counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and 21 second-degree felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

The charges filed in state court Tuesday allege the 68-year-old Kennard sexually abused two of his adoptive daughters, who are now adults.

Kennard is co-founder of the Village of Hope orphanage in Ethiopia. In the early 1990s, Kennard and his wife adopted six children from Ethiopia.

Charging documents allege the abuse went on from 1995 to 2002.

Court records did not list an attorney for Kennard. Phone messages left for Kennard by The Associated Press were not immediately returned Wednesday.


Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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