A sixth man has been charged and more victims have stepped forward as the investigation into a sexual molestation case in west-central Missouri continues.
Police have arrested 55-year-old Larry Kidd, identified by the State Highway Patrol as an associate of 77-year-old Burrell Mohler, Sr. who is accused of presiding over the sexual abuse of young girls in the family, at times using mock marriage ceremonies prior to the abuse of the young girls. Kidd has been arrested on suspicion of rape of a child younger than 14. Allegations made against Mohler and four of his sons are that they repeatedly abused girls younger than 12.
The 26-year-old woman who came forward to Independence police told authorities the men began abusing her at age 5 with the abuse ending at the age of 11, when she said she was forced to have an abortion. Others have supported her claims.
Authorities have been very reluctant to release details in the case which continues to unfold, both in a Lafayette County courtroom in Lexington and on a 55-acre farm near Bates City. The farm now is owned by another man with no connection to the case. Excavation crews at the farm are searching for glass jars in which there might be notes, detailing the abuse. The victims as well as others have told authorities that the men urged the girls to write about their experiences as a way to deal with bad memories. Authorities also are searching for a body or bodies, only saying that there are indications that the crimes went beyond sexual abuse.
In the courtroom, charges against the men were read as they sat in orange jail uniforms, bound by leg and arm shackles, each one escorted by a law enforcement officer. Mohler is charged with presiding over the abuses from 1988 to 1995. His four sons, 53-year-old Burrell Mohler, Jr., 52-year-old David Mohler of Iowa, 28-year-old Leroy Mohler of Columbia and 47-year-old Roland Mohler of Bates City all face numerous charges, including forcible sodomy, rape and use of a child in a sexual performance.
State Highway Patrol Corporal Bill Lowe says investigators suspect there are other victims and hope they come forward as well as the investigation continues. Anyone with information can call either 660-259-6789 or 816-474-TIPS.