Village of Hope co-founder Lon Harvey Kennard pleads guilty to child sex abuse

Lon Harvey Kennard-sex-abuse

A Wasatch County man accused of sexually abusing three of his adopted Ethiopian children pleaded guilty Wednesday to reduced charges.

Lon Harvey Kennard Sr., 69, was initially charged in 4th District Court with 25 first-degree felony counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child, 21 second-degree felony counts of sexual exploitation of a child, and one count of third-degree felony witness tampering.

Lon Harvey Kennard-sex-abuse
Village of Hope co-founder Lon Harvey Kennard

Kennard — the co-founder of a charity to aid Ethiopian orphans — pleaded guilty Wednesday to three counts of first-degree felony aggravated sex abuse of a child. Each count is punishable by up five years to life in prison.

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Wasatch County Attorney Scott Sweat said Wednesday that each of the three counts pertains to a separate victim.

Sentencing is set for November 2 before Judge Derek Pullan in Heber.


The victims were among six children adopted from Ethiopia by Kennard and his now-estranged wife, DeAnna Kennard.

The Kennards helped found the Village of Hope orphanage in the east African country and subsequently adopted six youngsters there.

The couple also have six biological children. All the children are now adults.

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