A relative of men charged with unspeakable acts of sexual violence against children said on Thursday he does not think the allegations are “valid” and hopes the men are exonerated.

A relative of men charged with unspeakable acts of sexual violence against children said on Thursday he does not think the allegations are “valid” and hopes the men are exonerated.

Ron Gamble of Independence spoke with the media after the court appearance of several members of the Mohler family.

Burrell Mohler Jr., Roland Mohler, and Darrel Mohler were in court Thursday at Lafayette County court. The other three Mohler men are Burrell Mohler Sr., Jared Mohler and David Mohler. All have been charged with multiple counts of molestation of family members decades ago.

Gamble is the brother-in-law of Burrell Mohler Sr., who he’s known since 1951. His sister was Mohler’s ex-wife, who died in 1991.

“I hope they’re exonerated,” he said. “I hope the truth will come out, whatever that is. In this country, you’re innocent until proven guilty. So far, they (authorities) haven’t proven it.”

In those years of knowing Burrell, he saw no signs of abuse, no signs of the graphic allegations authorities say the Mohler men subjected the children to on the rural Bates City farm during the late 1980s.

“She was still at home in the 1980s when this allegedly happened, so if anything had been going on, she would have stopped it quick. She was very religious and straightforward,” Gamble said.

Gamble hasn’t had much contact with Burrell after Gamble’s sister died. And he has not spoken to the alleged victims since they were children.

So are the kids, who are now adults in their late 20s, lying to authorities?

“How do I know?” Gamble answered. “How do you know? Nobody knows.”

“I don’t feel like I can speak for the entire family. We have a large extended family. But for me personally, I don’t think they’re valid,” Gamble said.

None of the other family members, mostly from Roland Mohler’s family, wanted to comment following the court appearances.

“Everybody’s concerned,” Gamble said of the family. “Lots of prayers.”

The Examiner