A chief warrant officer in the Army who sexually abused his adopted children for years — until it was finally reported to Army CID in 2017 — has been sentenced to life in prison, according to Justice Department and Army officials.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Daniel N. Kemp, 51, was sentenced Wednesday in the Eastern District of North Carolina and received a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Kemp pleaded guilty on Dec. 11 to one count of aggravated sexual assault of a minor. After an investigation into the sexual assault was underway, his wife harassed and dissuaded one of their daughters from disclosing the abuse, according to court documents.
Kemp, who was assigned to the 1st Theater Sustainment Command, started his military service in 1991 and became a warrant officer in 2004.
His command was headquartered at Fort Knox, Kentucky, but his crimes occurred at Fort Sill, in Oklahoma, and Fort Bragg, in North Carolina, according to an FBI criminal complaint.
Officials from his command said in a statement to Army Times that they have been cooperating with civilian authorities and will take “appropriate action against him based on his federal civilian conviction.”
Any further action to be taken by the Army is still pending, the officials added in their statement.
Kemp adopted six children in 2000 and sexually abused them for years until one daughter, a senior at a high school in Spring Lake, North Carolina, reported his actions in April 2017 to her teacher and Army CID, according to court records.
“She disclosed being physically abused by Kemp and showed her teacher photos of the physical abuse on her Nintendo DS. She also disclosed that Kemp forced her to watch pornographic videos on his computer,” an FBI agent wrote in the criminal complaint.
Child Protective Services went to the Kemp residence to interview the other siblings with Kemp’s wife, Shanynn, present, but they denied being sexually abused. Shanynn refused to cooperate further when a social worker called to arrange forensic interviews. The wife said they had all left the state, taking with them the daughter who originally complained.
“Mrs. Kemp stated she was outside of their ‘jurisdiction’ and nothing could be done,” the complaint reads. “Mrs. Kemp hung up on the social worker."
Within minutes of that call, the daughter who originally complained to her high school called Army CID and recanted her previous statements.
Army CID eventually located Kemp’s second-oldest child who had moved out of the family’s home and was described as “alienated” from the parents. This individual confirmed the abuse at the hands of Kemp, saying she was forced to perform oral sex “so many times she was unable to quantify how many,” the complaint reads.
Following an incident in which she fought back, Kemp stopped abusing her and moved on to another sibling who the indictment described as mentally disabled.
In May 2017, Army CID executed a search of the Kemp’s North Carolina residence and seized electronic devices that had been left behind. An indictment against Kemp stated that he had photographed some of the sexual abuse.
Army CID then located the Kemp family at the house of Shanynn Kemp’s parents in Arlington, Texas, the complaint stated.
Investigators conducted surveillance of the Arlington residence and waited for the family to go to church, where an Army CID agent approached the daughter who had first complained and identified himself as law enforcement.
She “became visibly emotional with tears” and said, “I thought you guys would never find me, I am so scared,” according to the complaint. She went on to say “that her mother forced her to recant what she said.”
“Victim 1 said her mother told her that if she continued to tell people Kemp raped her that he would either commit suicide or go to prison which meant they would not have any healthcare or money,” the indictment reads.
Kemp was later arrested and the original victim who reported Kemp to law enforcement once again provided a statement detailing the abuse she and her siblings suffered. The other children also eventually admitted that they had suffered abuse at the hands of Kemp.
A federal case against Shanynn Kemp in the Eastern District of North Carolina remains ongoing, according to court records.
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter whose investigations have covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.