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UPDATE 8: Fla. suspect in Missouri child sex case 'devastated'

Monday, November 16, 2009 | 7:37 p.m. CST; updated 11:58 p.m. CST, Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SILVER SPRINGS, Fla. — A sixth member of a family facing multiple child sex abuse charges in western Missouri said he is "devastated" and had "no idea" about the rape allegations against him.

Darrel Wayne Mohler, 72, of Silver Springs, made the remarks outside the makeshift courtroom at the Marion County Jail where he made his first appearance in front of a judge Saturday afternoon, The Ocala Star-Banner reported in its Sunday editions.

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During the hearing, a handcuffed Mohler said he was retired, owned his home and receives $2,000 a month as his retirement.

Judge Frances King told Mohler, who is charged with two counts of forcible rape in Lafayette County, Mo., that he was not eligible for a public defender and set bail at $40,000. Asked if he wanted to waive extradition back to Missouri for being a fugitive, Mohler told the judge he did not know.

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

The Associated Press is not revealing details that could identify the alleged victims of sexual abuse.

The probable cause statement against Darrel W. Mohler accuses him of raping two girls between the ages of 5 and 9 at an abandoned house in Bates City, Mo.. Mohler told the Star-Banner he had "no idea" about the allegations and said he has lived at his Silver Springs home since 1984. Mohler was arrested Friday night at the home as he was pulling out of his driveway, officials said.

"If I was there long enough to rape them (the children), I would've known about it," Mohler said while seated on a bench, waiting to be transported back to his cell.

Asked about the allegations, Mohler said if his brother or any family members are involved, then the authorities should "prosecute them."

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

The original complaint — including allegations of bestiality, forcing children into fake marriages with relatives and making an 11-year-old have an abortion — date from 1988 to 1995.

"I've no contact with him or his family," Darrel Mohler said about his brother and his extended family.

He said he and his brother "grew apart" and that aside from one of his nephews calling him every Christmas and birthday, "he has nothing to do with" his brother.

Darrel Mohler said he served in the U.S. Navy, worked as a corrections officer at the Marion Correctional Institution for a decade and then as an electrical contractor in Key West for several years.

He said he was placed on suicide watch because when he arrived at the jail, he was asked if he was depressed and said "yes," he was "devastated." He said he was asked if he had ever contemplated suicide and said "most of us have" and that it has "crossed our minds one way or another."

Asked whether he will sign the extradition papers to head back to Missouri, Darrel Mohler said he "doesn't know what to do."

"I'm dumbfounded. I thought I would retire and take it easy," he said.

No one answered at the Marion County Jail on Sunday night to confirm that Mohler was still being held.

On Thursday, police also arrested a man they identified then as a possible suspect, but did not charge him. He has since been released.

 


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