Former youth camp worker accused of sexually assaulting children

Associated Press Newswires
July 29, 1997
Copyright 1997. The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - A former house parent at a youth camp in Ingram stands accused in a nine-count indictment of sexually assaulting children between 1992 and 1995.

Mark D. Shellenberger, 34, who lives in the Dallas area, was indicted by a Kerr County grand jury on July 3, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

Shellenberger faces seven counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child. A trial is set for January.

Two complainants were campers at the Hill Country Youth Ranch, and the third was the child of Shellenberger's friend, said Donnie Coleman, prosecutor in the 198th Judicial District.

"The case is still open and they are still working on it," Coleman said.

Investigators are still interviewing other former camp clients, authorities said.

Camp Director Gary Priour said a background check revealed no criminal record when Shellenberger was hired in 1991.

The ranch, a year-round, nonprofit camp that opened in 1977, serves about 60 youths at a time. The campers range from 8 to 18 years old.

Kerr County Sheriff Frances Kaiser Shellenberger, who was a primary house parent in a cabin and was known as "Pa" by campers.

"Of course, we'll be going for life sentences," Coleman said.

Shellenberger has been held under $10,000 bond in the Collin County Jail since being arrested in Plano on April 15 on charges of possessing child pornography.

Ingram is about 65 miles northwest of San Antonio in South Texas .