Former Goshen youth leader sentenced 20 years for child molestation, sexual misconduct

Scott Christner is starting a 20-year prison sentence on Wednesday, which is the most time he...
Scott Christner is starting a 20-year prison sentence on Wednesday, which is the most time he could spend behind bars because of the terms of his plea deal.(WNDU)
Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 12:19 PM EST
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GOSHEN, Ind. (WNDU) - A former Goshen youth leader is going to prison for admittedly molesting several young boys between the ages of 11 and 13 during the better half of the last decade.

Scott Christner is starting a 20-year prison sentence on Wednesday, which is the most time he could spend behind bars because of the terms of his plea deal. However, the judge ordered a 21-year suspended sentence that could land him back in prison if he violates probation within the 10 years following his prison term.

Christner received three 9-year sentences for Level 4 felonies and will serve 20 of those years in prison with seven suspended. He received two 7-year sentences for a pair of Class C felonies to be served along with the remaining suspended sentence if he violates his parole after the prison time.

In the courtroom, Christner, a character witness he brought up, and his attorney argued for probation only in this sentencing. Meanwhile, personal and written statements from victims and their family members sought a sentence more in line with what was eventually ruled.

One victim wrote about Christner’s “Double life, pretending to be a kind, giving man, while also molesting kids.”

A no-contact order kept Christner out of the lives of his victims since he was arrested in 2019, but on Wednesday one of those victims sat just feet away from the man who molested him and got away with it for years afterward.

It’s nearly ten years after Scott Christner touched his first victim back in 2012. These crimes continued until as recently as July 2019 just a few months before he was arrested that November.

That was when a man who called Christner a friend for roughly 40-years learned that his trusted fellow brother of God violated his son in ways he couldn’t begin to imagine.

In the courtroom, the father of Victim 2 said he’d bring his kids around Christner during, “sporting events”, “birthdays”, and especially “church functions”, completely unaware of the trauma going on behind closed doors.

The father of Victim 4 spoke on Christner’s escalating predatory actions saying “You molested my son at a party. There were other people around.”

He also claimed that Christner, “isn’t remorseful for his actions, but that he got caught”, and that he “only stopped because he got caught.”

Victim 2′s father said, “There has to be time in jail for there to be restitution.”

Christner said he would “never put himself in a position to make these mistakes again,” having led ‘The Olympians’ youth group out of the First Baptist Church in Goshen during the years he abused these boys.

Based on this sentence, he won’t have to worry about that for at least the next twenty years.

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