Police arrest sixth member of family accused of child sex abuse

CNN/November 14, 2009

Lexington, Missouri - Police arrested a sixth member of a Missouri family under investigation for allegations of child sexual abuse, police said.

Darrel Mohler has been charged with two counts of rape, Lafayette County Sheriff Kerrick Alumbaugh said at a news conference. Missouri police did not have Mohler in custody earlier.

On the request of Missouri officials, Marion County authorities went to Mohler's home in Silver Springs, Florida, and caught him just before he pulled into the driveway, according to a news release from the Marion County Sheriff's Office. He was subsequently arrested.

Mohler told police he "was aware of what was going on in Missouri," and that he had not been there since the 1980s, according to the sheriff's office.

Five members of the Mohler family of Lafayette County, Missouri, were arrested earlier this week after six alleged victims, who are relatives of the five suspects, made accusations of sexual abuse. A sixth person, described as an "associate" of the family, was arrested Thursday but released Friday, police said.

The six alleged victims - all now adults - came to law enforcement authorities with stories of sexual performances, mock weddings, rape with various objects and a forced abortion during their childhoods, according to court documents obtained by CNN affiliate KSHB in Kansas City.

Police did not have enough to charge Darrel Mohler earlier, but after examining the victims' statements, obtained enough information to charge him, Alumbaugh said. He added that he does not think Darrel is on the run.

Darrel Mohler, 72, is the younger brother of Burrell Edward Mohler Sr., 77, according to KSHB. On Tuesday, authorities arrested Mohler Sr. and his sons Burrell Edward Mohler Jr., 53; David A. Mohler, 52; Jared Leroy Mohler, 48; and Roland Neil Mohler, 47.

More charges against the family members are expected next week, the sheriff said. Current charges for some of the arrested include rape, deviate sexual assault and use [of] child in sexual performance, according to Missouri State Courts online case management system.

Alumbaugh said that Larry Kidd, 55, of Kansas City, Missouri - an "associate" of the Mohler family - was picked up by police following a tip, cooperated with police and has been released.

The alleged abuse took place from the mid-1980s until 1995 and possibly beyond, the sheriff said earlier. The documents provide graphic details of the alleged abuse provided by one of the alleged victims. All of the charges stem from those documents, Alumbaugh said.

Mohler Sr., David Mohler and Jared Mohler are all lay ministers in the Community of Christ, the Independence, Missouri-based organization said in a statement.

Lay ministers are volunteers who do not receive compensation, said the organization, and none of the three served in leadership roles or worked with children.

Mohler Sr. went through the group's registered youth worker program, but "his youth worker registration has been terminated and we understand he had no contact with children or youth in church programs," the statement said.

Some lay ministers might help take care of the church, while others might speak at services, said the organization's spokeswoman, Linda Booth.

The Community of Christ is an offshoot of the modern-day Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It split off from the Mormon church in the 1800s, and in 2000 changed its name to Community of Christ from the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Investigators earlier this week searched several properties for evidence, but there were no plans to continue the searches, Alumbaugh said Friday. He declined to comment on any evidence found.

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