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UPDATE: Police seize more videos in Missouri sex abuse case

Thursday, November 19, 2009 | 6:57 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Several family members who say they were sexually abused as children by adult relatives remember being taken to various locations and photographed with naked men, police investigators said in a search warrant released Thursday.

The family members, who are now adults, told Columbia police investigators they remembered being taken to "various locations and having to pose for pictures in a sexual and provocative manner," according to the Nov. 10 warrant.

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"They also recall pictures being taken while they were placed on a bed with naked men climbing onto the bed," the warrant states.

The warrant did not specify how many of the alleged victims said they had to pose for the photographs, nor did it identify a location.

Authorities seized more than 60 videos and computer equipment from the home of 48-year-old Jared Mohler in Columbia, according to the warrant. Mohler, his father, three brothers and an uncle are accused of raping and molesting several young relatives over roughly a decade beginning in the mid-1980s. They have not entered pleas.

Prosecutors added to the rape charges Thursday against Jared Mohler, his 53-year-old brother, Burrell Mohler Jr., and his 77-year-old father, Burrell E. Mohler Sr. Prosecutors say Mohler Sr. repeatedly raped some of the children and that his two sons forced two of the children into sexual contact with an animal.

The probable cause statement from those charges also said one of the victims reported the abuse to another law enforcement agency in August 2008. The statement did not name that agency or say if the report had been followed up on.

Jared Mohler's lawyer, Tim Larimore, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment. The Lafayette County clerk said the other men charged did not have attorneys.

Other relatives of the men charged said earlier this week they do not believe the accusations.

Investigators said in the warrant that the mother of the children was told about abuse but didn't tell authorities. They say she instead told church leaders. The warrant did not identify the church.

The warrant said the mother has been cooperating with the investigation. Attempts to reach her have been unsuccessful; a phone listing under her name in Missouri appears to have been disconnected.

Three of the men charged in the case have been suspended from their duties as lay ministers at the Community of Christ church, which is based in Independence.

A Community of Christ spokeswoman, Linda Booth, said Thursday that the parents of those alleged to have been abused left the church in 1982, before it is alleged to have occurred. She also said a review of internal records found no reports of abuse.

 


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