Goshen church youth leader faces child molestation charges

NOW: Goshen church youth leader faces child molestation charges

GOSHEN, Ind. - A Goshen church youth leader is facing child molestation charges.

Scott Christner is a youth leader at First Baptist Church in Goshen. That’s where he met the 11-year-old victim.

According to court documents, the victim counts three separate times Christner touched him inappropriately.

Christner admitted to police that there was, in fact, two times he touched the victim and that he said sorry and that it would never happen again.

The news has neighbors in Goshen shocked

“Children are innocent and for just adults to prey on them and take advantage of them is obviously shocking and disgusting,” one neighbor, who is close to the church said.

“A little bit. Don’t usually hear it,” Ray Meadows, another neighbor said. “I don’t think somebody who is close to the kids should be touching them. Period. It’s not right.”

Meadows lives close by and were in a youth group at First Baptist Church when he was younger.

“Never thought about that. It’s crazy,” Meadows said.

The victim stating to police that it happened three different times between July 19th and July 29th of this year.

Documents say the first instance happened when Christner took the victim and his brother to the movies, the second when he spent the night at Christner’s house after the Elkhart County Fair, and the last time when several other kids were over at Christner’s house. The third time, the victim stated he tried to pull himself away but that Christner was not letting go.

“My wife and I are both youth leaders for our church,” One neighbor said. “They should have a safe place and school, church certainly home should all be safe places for them.”

Christner admitted to police on Friday that there were two times he touched the victim but that “he didn’t think that Victim 1 didn’t want it because he didn’t push away or say no.”

Christner also told police he said sorry and that it would never happen again.

When it comes to prosecution, neighbors say something needs to happen.

“At least he admitted he did it and maybe he might find help,” Meadows said.

“For the safety of kids in the future, so he can’t do any more damage, this needs to be addressed. Whether that’s through police, legal action. Certainly mental health can come on top of that. To me there is no excuse for that behavior,” another neighbor said.

ABC57 reached out to the church for comment but have not yet heard back from them.

According to court documents, Christner is being held on a $10,000 bond and will be in court in December.

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