6th charged in child sex abuse case

LEXINGTON, Mo. (AP) - November 13, 2009

Darrel Wayne Mohler, 72, of Silver Springs, Fla., was charged Friday with two counts of forcible rape stemming from 1986, according to court documents. He was charged in Lafayette County, Mo., but authorities said he was not in custody.

"I don't believe he's on the run, and I urge him to turn himself in so I can talk to him," Lafayette County Sheriff Kerrick Alumbaugh said at an evening news conference. Alumbaugh did not say what efforts were under way to arrest Mohler.

Five other members of the Mohler family were charged earlier this week with several felonies, including forcible sodomy, rape with a child younger than 12 and use of a child in a sexual performance.

When asked to comment on the case Thursday before he was charged, Darrel W. Mohler told The Associated Press from his home in Florida that he found the reports of child abuse "unspeakable."

"I can't think of words that would put this in perspective. I find it repulsive if it's true," he said.

Mohler said he was a disabled veteran suffering from various ailments, including lung disease. He did not immediately return calls Friday seeking comment on the charges.

The other men charged in the case are Darrel Mohler's brother, Burrell Edward Mohler Sr., 77, of Independence and his four adult sons: Burrell Edward Mohler Jr., 53, of Independence; Jared Leroy Mohler, 48, of Columbia; Roland Neil Mohler, 47, of Bates City; and David A. Mohler, 52, of Lamoni, Iowa.

The probable cause statement against Darrel W. Mohler accuses him of raping two children between the ages of 5 and 9 at an abandoned house in Bates City. The statement alleges that after Darrel W. Mohler left the children, Burrell Mohler Sr. came to the room and warned them to "be careful because waterbeds were known to pop and they might drown in their sleep."

Darrel W. Mohler said Thursday that he never had been close to his older brother Burrell and was "appalled by the allegations." He said he has a 16-year-old granddaughter "and that'd be like me messing with her, and the thought is repulsive. I'm glad I don't have that gene, God darn."

On Thursday, police also arrested a man they identified as an "associate" of the Mohler family and possible suspect, but did not charge him. He has since been released.

The original complaint in the case includes allegations of bestiality, forcing children into fake marriages with relatives and making an 11-year-old have an abortion that date from 1988 to 1995. The Associated Press is not revealing details that could identify the alleged victims of sexual abuse.

The men have not entered pleas and did not have lawyers listed with the court clerk's office. The five other Mohler men from Missouri have been held on cash bonds ranging from $30,000 to $75,000. Their next court hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

Alumbaugh also said Friday that a search on the property formerly owned by family members had been completed and that he expected additional charges against the suspects.

Alumbaugh had said earlier that investigators were focusing on that property outside Bates City, about 30 miles east of Kansas City, because there was "an indication that there are body or bodies in numerous locations." He did not elaborate.

Investigators also said they were searching for glass jars containing notes, written by children, about the alleged abuse and buried on the property. Adults had allegedly told children to write down bad memories and bury them and "the memories would go away," said Sgt. Collin Stosberg, spokesman for the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Alumbaugh would not comment about any evidence that may have been found on the 55-acre property.

"We are not commenting on any part of the investigation because it's an active investigation, and some of that information may be released at a later date," Stosberg said.

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