AVON, Ind. - A former Kingsway Christian Church elder was formally charged with three counts of criminal deviate conduct with a 16-year-old boy Thursday afternoon in Hendricks County Superior Court.
The defendant, 46-year-old Daniel Keller, denies the allegations and also says the victim was 18 years old, not 16.
Keller faces three counts of criminal deviate conduct. The probable cause affidavit said the male accuser was 16 years old at the time of the incidents. Keller's attorney disagrees with the age and the action.
"The probable cause affidavit that has been filed with the court says this happened when this young man was 18 years old," said attorney Tom Manning. "There is no criminal offense with an 18-year-old. He is accused of what is the equivalent of rape if this accuser was a female, it would be a rape charge. He is adamantly denying that he assaulted this man in a sexual way."
According to court documents, the first encounter occurred in the basement of Keller's Avon home at the end of 2007 or beginning of 2008 when the victim stayed overnight at the Keller home for movie night with Keller's children. Sometime during the night, the defendant got in bed with the victim and performed sex acts on him, the affidavit said.
Court documents say another incident occurred later that year in a utility room.
In October, Kingsway Christian Church began an investigation of Keller.
The victim petitioned the court for a protective order, because he said Keller was trying to intimidate him to remain silent.
"Mr. Keller is still a loved one, still considered a member of the church," said pastor Matt Nickoson. "He's no longer serving as an elder anymore. We're continuing to pray for the family, reach out to the family, love the family, try to find the best way to partner with everyone involved, especially work with the police to bring justice."
Keller is set for a jury trial on Feb. 20.