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Incest trials against members of Mohler family will begin in January

When the sun rose on Nov. 11, 2009, Burrell Mohler Sr. and his four adult sons were just average folk, known not much beyond family, jobs and neighborhoods.

By dusk that day, the Mohlers of western Missouri would be the talk all over the world.

Accusations of incestuous “honeymoon” beddings of young daughters, granddaughters and nieces in a chicken coop will do that.

Now, two years after authorities rounded up the Mohlers, some people have wondered what happened to those involved in the sensational story.

All of the case files have remained closed to the public because of their sexual nature. Lafayette County Prosecutor Kelly Ritchie and defense attorneys continue to maintain their silence and declined to comment last week.

This much has developed:

• The first trial is set for Jan. 9 in Clay County. Roland Mohler, 49, of Bates City, Mo., was a paramedic before his arrest.

• Next up will be a brother, Jared Mohler, 50, of Columbia. His trial date is Jan. 25 in Lafayette County, where most of the abuse is alleged to have occurred. He is the only Mohler whose case has not been moved to another trial venue to avoid jury selection issues.

• The patriarch, Burrell Mohler Sr., 79, will be tried on 16 counts, including multiple charges of rape, no sooner than April 9 in Clay County.

• His oldest son, the father of the alleged victims, would come next. Burrell Mohler Jr., 55, a former Independence firefighter, has a May 15 trial date in Pettis County. Like his father, he has remained behind bars these two years.

• The last trial is set for June 4, also in Clay County, for David Mohler, 54, of Lamoni, Iowa. Before his arrest, he worked in computers at Graceland University, where he and his brothers attended.

• Darrel Mohler, the brother of Burrell Sr., died late last month in Florida. The last to be arrested, he was charged with two counts of rape.

The allegations made by several sisters and a brother, who has been on a local police force, were of being systematically raped and sodomized as children.

Authorities combed the family farm in Lafayette County for days for evidence to support those stories, as well as others even more jaw-dropping: forced bestiality, a murder by knife-wielding girls, a rape in a church, lost babies and a sex slave in a crawlspace.

Authorities learned of the allegations when the women — who years ago supposedly buried secret notes in fruit jars to let people know what happened if they died — came forward to tell police.

The notes were not found.

A distant relative who lives in Independence told The Star last week that he knows the Mohlers well and is confident the whole thing was dark fantasies and bunk.

But Ritchie, the prosecutor, apparently thinks she knows them too, and she has never wavered despite the bizarre aspects of the case.

No charges were filed relating to the murder or the sex slave allegations.

Three of the defendants had been members of the Community of Christ lay priesthood. They included Burrell Mohler Sr., who gave the Father’s Day sermon at his Bates City church earlier in 2009.

During a search of his Independence home, police found incest pornography.

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