Police: More victims coming forward in church elder molestation case

Daniel Keller

September 2013 update: Criminal deviate conduct charges against Daniel Keller were dismissed as part of a plea agreement, but he was convicted on an intimidation charge.

Original story:

More victims have come forward in a sex crime investigation involving a former church elder and underage children.

Daniel Keller, 46, is out on bond. As Eyewitness News reported last week, Keller faces three counts of criminal deviate conduct stemming from incidents in 2007. Keller has been dismissed as an elder at Kingsway Christian Church in Avon.

The church sent letters to its members including parents who have children at the school urging them to come forward with information.

A 21-year-old man told police that Keller molested him repeatedly at his home in 2007 when he was 16. He says it often happened when Keller invited several Avon High School students to his home to watch movies.

Since the arrest became public, police have learned that there may be at least three more victims. Three counties are involved in the investigation.

"They have disclosed some sexual abuse that has taken place and we are trying to reach out to any other victims that are out there now," said Avon Police Det. Sean Stoops.

Sources say one of the victims says Keller crossed the line with him when he was a third and fourth grader at Kingsway Christian School.

The lead pastor says they are cooperating with police and the investigation. Matt Nickoson wants anyone who may have been a victim to come forward.

"We take these kind of accusations very seriously. We consider this to be a very safe place. If there is anybody out there that anything has happened to, you need to talk about it. It's okay to talk about. Go to an adult, go to your parent, go a teacher, a counselor or pastor and let them know what happened so that it can be dealt with and so you can be helped as well," said Pastor Nickoson.

Emily Perry, executive director of Susie's Place, a child advocacy center, says talking about being abused is an important step for victims.

"Talking about what has happened when there has been an allegation of sexual abuse is the very first step in healing," Perry said.

Police say none of the sexual abuse Keller is accused of took place on church grounds, they believe he invited his victims to church and used his authority to gain trust.

Susie's Place child advocacy center