Church elder facing molestation charges; investigation spans multiple counties

Police say there could be as many as 8 victims

AVON, Ind. - A former elder at Kingsway Christian Church in Avon is out of jail on $100,000 bond facing molestation charges.

Daniel Keller, 46, is accused of molesting three teenage boys in incidents dating back to 2002, but Avon police say there could be as many as eight victims.

Police say the investigation now covers Hendricks, Marion and Owen counties. They are reaching out to others who they think could have been abused by Keller.

"These type of people who are pretty good at deception and I think they can make their way into anywhere," said Rick Smith, whose granddaughter attends Kingsway School.

Smith said he was shocked to learn about Keller's arrest and the allegations.

"It's scary, it's really scary," he said.

After Keller's arrest last Friday became public, Avon police said others have come to them with allegations of more cases of possible sexual abuse.

"They have been very credible in their interviews in their statement, and it appears as though they were a victim of child abuse from Mr. Keller, that's what they're alleging," said Lt. Sean Stoops.

Investigators believe Keller used his title as a church elder to build up his credibility in order to make it easier to lure his victims.

"The one common scheme to all that is he would invite everyone to come to church with him," Stoops said.

One woman who is a former member of Kingsway Church says she can relate all too well to the victims.  She claims to be a sexual molestation survivor herself, and she said she had a message for other victims.

"It's not your fault," she said. "It's not your fault."

The church sent a letter to members and parents of kids who attend the Kingsway School to offer support to anyone who might need it.

"I know it's probably a drum we keep beating, but we beat that drum because we care and we want to help people through this," said Matt Nickoson, Kingsway Church's lead pastor.

RTV6 attempted to speak with Daniel Keller and knocked on his door in an upscale neighborhood in Avon.  Keller wasn't home, but his next door neighbor was, and he said the allegations against Keller are shocking.

"I think it would shock anybody," he said.
 

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