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UPDATE: Warrant in Mohler case: Pornography and incest magazines found

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 | 6:36 p.m. CST; updated 9:16 a.m. CST, Thursday, November 19, 2009

INDEPENDENCE — The wife of one of six men charged in a child sex abuse case recently found material depicting incest that was hidden in the family's home, according to a search warrant.

The Jackson County search warrant issued last week after the arrest of Burrell E. Mohler Sr., 77, of Independence, said investigators seized several items from Mohler's home, including four computer towers, several pornographic magazines and books, several DVDs and cameras.

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Col. Ben Kenney of the Jackson County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday that several booklets found at the home were about incest.

"The thing that was unusual was the title and the references," which were about incest, he said. "They were very explicit. ... It was all on sex with family members."

He said the computers that were seized were sent to an FBI lab in Kansas City for review, and it was unclear when authorities would know more about what they contained.

Mohler, his four adult sons and his brother, Darrel W. Mohler, 72, of Silver Springs, Fla., have been charged in neighboring Lafayette County with raping and molesting several young relatives over roughly a decade beginning in the mid-1980s. Accusations include impregnating at least two young girls and forcing one to have an abortion when she was 11.

The Jackson County warrant was issued Nov. 11, the day after Mohler and his sons were arrested.

The warrant said detectives at Mohler's home for the arrest saw "numerous magazines depicting obviously young females (possibly under the age of 17) and various age males" engaged in sex.

The "articles and text of the magazines" described incestuous sex, the warrant said.

Mohler's wife, Sandra, told detectives she found some of the material "that made reference to incest activity among family members" in a false ceiling of the basement, the warrant said. She locked the material in a file cabinet about two months ago, according to the warrant.

Sandra Mohler said when she discovered the pornographic material she made an arrangement with her husband for him "to move to the basement area of the residence, where he continued to live and sleep separately," according to the document.

Detectives also interviewed a 27-year-old woman living at the home. The warrant said Sandra Mohler and that woman were cooperating in the investigation.

No one answered the door Wednesday at the address identified in the search warrant. Calls to the home also were not answered.

Authorities searched another home once owned by Burrell Mohler Sr. in rural Bates City last week, looking for, among other things, buried glass jars containing messages written by the children describing sexual molestation.

A search warrant for that property said investigators found several items there, including a glass fragment, a bone of "unknown type," a credit card and a broken glass jar. They also said they took four jars of soil from the basement of that home.

Lafayette County Sheriff Kerrick Alumbaugh has said he can't comment on evidence in the case.

Mohler Sr. and his sons — Burrell 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 — face several felony counts of rape and use of a child in a sexual performance.

Most of the men did not have lawyers Wednesday, according to the Lafayette County clerk's office. Jared Mohler's lawyer, Tim Larimore, did not return calls seeking comment.

Mohler Sr. and his sons remain jailed in Lafayette County, with their next court appearances scheduled for Dec. 3.

Darrel Mohler was being held in Marion County, Fla., on two counts of rape stemming from 1986. He agreed to be extradited to Missouri, but his arrival wasn't immediately clear.

 


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