6:59 PM EST, November 8, 2012
Avon Police said they have a list of eight more young men who may have been victims of a church leader who is already facing criminal charges.
Daniel Keller, an elder at Kingsway Christian Church, is free on $100,000 bond after being charged with three counts of criminal deviate conduct for an allged assault on a 16-year-old boy five years ago.
Keller told police the sexual relationship was consensual.
Investigators said they have spoken with three other young men who told them they were molested by Keller several years ago when he lived in the Ben Davis community on Indianapolis' west side.
One of those alleged victims said he was 12-years-old when the assault occurred.
"They were somewhat similar in, I guess, the mode of operation that Mr. Keller operated as far as his grooming of the victims," said Lt. Sean Stoops. "What he had allegedly done to the victims."
Stoops said Keller was a youth mentor who often used his position as a senior executive with the owner of several fast food franchises on the west side of Marion County to gain access to children.
"He would've had access to the kids in the neighborhood. He also reached out to any family that might be in need whether its financially or someone maybe going through a divorce of something of that nature," said Stoops. "(The Keller family) would open up their home to stay with them."
Stoops said Keller's home, where the first young man said he was assaulted, was searched and a computer containing pornographic images was seized.
Police said Keller's arrest came as a surprise to his wife. Members of Kingsway Christian Church were also stunned.
"While the charges do not relate to any Kingsway ministry function," Lead Pastor Matt Nickoson wrote in a letter to the congregation, "the elders removed (Keller) from his position as elder of the church."
The letter asked for prayers for the alleged victims.
"We are encouraging people, especially parents, to talk to their kids," Nickoson told Fox59 News. "If you know something or something ever happened to you, please, please talk to your parents, talk to a teacher, talk to a pastor, you don't have to hide."
Young men told investigators that Keller would take them on boating and camping trips to Owen County to Cataract Lake and Beaver State Park where the assaults would reportedly occur.
Stoops said IMPD, the state police or Owen County detectives will want to investigate.