IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

New charges against dad, sons in child sex case

Prosecutors in Missouri have filed 15 additional sex charges against a father and his adult sons who were already accused of sexually abusing children.
Image: Edward Mohler Sr.
Burrell E. Mohler Sr. is escorted out of a courtroom after appearing for a formal arraignment Tuesday in Lexington, Mo. Six males from the Mohler family have been accused by Lafayette County authorities with participation in a decade-long sexual abuse to girls as young as 5. Ed Zurga / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Prosecutors in western Missouri filed 15 additional sex charges against a family already accused of sexually abusing children as a newly released search warrant claims some of the suspects forced their victims to help kill and bury a man in 1988.

The new rape and sodomy charges stem from 1984 to 1989 and accuse Burrell E. Mohler Sr., 77, of Independence, of rape, sodomy and use of a child in a sexual performance. His four sons, Jared Leroy Mohler, 48, of Columbia; Roland Neil Mohler, 47, of Bates City; and David A. Mohler, 52, of Lamoni, Iowa, were charged with rape.

The original complaint, which has allegations that date from 1988 to 1995, includes charges of forcible sodomy, rape with a child younger than 12 and use of a child in a sexual performance.

During a brief court appearance Tuesday, four of the five men said they were still working to find attorneys. Only Jared Leroy Mohler said he had hired a lawyer.

No additional charges were filed against the sixth person accused in the case, Darrel W. Mohler, 72, who is being held in Marion County, Fla. on two counts of rape stemming from 1986. He waived extradition Tuesday, but it was unclear when he would come to Missouri.

The Associated Press is not identifying the children in the case.

The new charges, filed Monday, stemmed from accounts of a 29-year-old woman, who told investigators she and three other children were bound at the wrists and blindfolded while three men raped them.

Authorities last week searched a rural property outside Bates City, about 30 miles east of Kansas City, Mo., where members of the Mohler family once lived. Lafayette County Sheriff Kerrick Alumbaugh said then he believed they may find a body or bodies and buried glass jars with notes written by children who may have documented sexual abuse.

Adults allegedly told children to write down bad memories and bury them there and "the memories would go away," Sgt. Collin Stosberg, spokesman for the Missouri State Highway Patrol, said last week.

The case took another bizarre turn with the release of a search warrant indicating that three of the alleged abuse victims observed "several murders" and were forced to help kill and bury a man.

According to the warrant, a man abducted from his Independence, Mo., home was brought to Mohler Sr.'s property in Bates City. There, the warrant states, Mohler Jr., ordered the children to attack the abducted man and stab him, and threatened to kill the children if they refused.

One of the children then jumped on the man's back and stabbed him, but it was a stab wound from the adult that actually killed the victim, according to the warrant. The children were then forced to help dig a grave for the man and bury him.

The affidavit offers no details about the stabbing victim.

Investigators say they are taking the claims seriously, but insist they are focused on the sexual assault case.

Meanwhile, one of several women who came forward to police told investigators that she twice became pregnant and the men buried her first baby in their basement, according to court documents.

An investigator's affidavit released Monday said a radar used to search the rural property where Burrell Mohler Sr. and his sons lived in the 1980s found an object "consistent with the shape of a box" under the basement's concrete floor.

The woman told investigators that she was locked in the basement and raped in 1988.

She said the baby was buried in a box under the basement's only window. The affidavit said the basement floor was dirt at the time, and "following the delivery of the first baby, Burrell E. Mohler Sr. and Burrell E. Mohler Jr. buried the infant in the basement." The floor was later covered in concrete.