March 23 trial date set for accused church volunteer

Scott Christner

GOSHEN — Eleven more molestation charges have been filed against a volunteer youth leader at a Goshen church after four more alleged victims came forward.

Scott Christner, 44, faces six counts of child molesting as a Class C felony and three counts as a Level 4 felony. He is also charged with two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, a Level 5 felony.

Four boys now in their late teens recently told Goshen police that Christner had touched them inappropriately between May 2012 and January 2017.

The alleged victims came forward in late November and early December, shortly after Christner was accused of molesting another boy several times over the past year. He was charged with one Level 4 felony in connection with those incidents.

The 11 new counts against Christner were filed on Friday. His bond is set at $150,000 in the order for his arrest, with an initial court hearing scheduled for Thursday.

Court records indicate that Christner bonded out of jail after his arrest.

A Class C felony applies to crimes committed prior to 2014. Each count carries a punishment of up to eight years in prison.

Each Level 4 felony is punishable by up to 12 years and a Level 5 felony by up to six years.

Four new victims

According to court documents:

Each of the five victims knew Christner from the same west Goshen church, where he volunteered as the head of their youth group. They all described similar incidents of touching, which occurred either when they were alone with Christner or in a group setting.

The alleged incidents often occurred when the victims were sitting on a couch with Christner, watching TV, or while roughhousing. The victims described being in shock and not understanding what was happening, and having to try to push Christner away several times.

The first new victim came forward on Nov. 25. He described two incidents involving Christner that occurred when he was under age 16.

The victim told police he still hasn't been able to tell his parents about what happened, even after the news broke of the first allegation against Christner.

The second new victim came forward on Dec. 2. He said the incidents occurred when he was under age 14.

He told police about at least five incidents that had all occurred at Christner's house.

He described Christner as a close, personal friend of the family in addition to being the leader of a youth group at church. The victim said he wanted to come forward after Christner's first arrest because he didn't want his parents to believe any denials that Christner may make, when he believed the allegations were true.

The third new victim came to police on Dec. 3. He recounted incidents that occurred when he was younger than 14 years old, which occurred at a friend's house and at Christner's house.

The fourth new victim came forward on Dec. 4. He described one incident that allegedly occurred at Christner's house when he was under age 12.

The boy's father told police he would leave him alone with Christner at times because he was a trusted member of the church and was considered family.

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