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Houston, TX - Two Chi Alpha Ministries Youth Ministers Assigned to Baylor University Arrested on Charges of Sexual Abuse and Grooming

Houston, TX - Two Chi Alpha Ministries Youth Ministers Arrested on Charges of Sexual Abuse and Grooming
Published: July 10, 2023
By: Darla Medina
Last Updated on March 1, 2024

Texas Youth Pastor Accused of Sexual Abuse

According to My San Antonio, two former youth ministers from Texas, Daniel Savala and Chris Hundl, have been arrested on charges of continuous sexual assault of a child. The allegations date back several decades and involve multiple victims, with authorities suspecting that one of the accused may have been a victim himself.

The arrests of 67-year-old Daniel Savala and 38-year-old Chris Hundl took place in early June after Child Protective Services received multiple reports of abuse involving two children. According to Houston's KPRC, the alleged abuse had been occurring for the past two years. One of the victims stated that they were between 11 and 12 years old when the reported abuse took place.

Daniel Savala, a former youth minister and registered sex offender since 2012, was known to authorities prior to these recent accusations. Chris Hundl, on the other hand, was associated with Chi Alpha Ministries, a Christian ministry group with a presence on college campuses across the United States. Hundl was previously assigned to Baylor University.

Court documents reveal harrowing details of the abuse, with the victims forced to engage in inappropriate acts within saunas at both Savala's home in Houston and Hundl's residence in Waco. The children were allegedly warned not to disclose the incidents to anyone, creating an atmosphere of fear and manipulation.

Disturbingly, the investigation suggests that Hundl himself may have been a victim of Savala. Hundl referred to Savala as his "spiritual mentor," indicating that they met during Hundl's college years. Hundl claimed that Savala encouraged him to engage in self-touching as a form of "spiritual activity."

Further investigations into Savala's past have revealed a pattern of grooming and sexual abuse targeting vulnerable college-aged men at various universities. In some instances, Savala was referred to as "Uncle Daniel" by students. As a result of these revelations, Baylor University suspended all Chi Alpha operations on its campus in May, coinciding with Hundl's resignation from his position.

Child Protective Services, in conjunction with law enforcement agencies, is currently investigating the claims made against Savala and Hundl. The seriousness of these allegations underscores the urgent need for a thorough examination of the case and the implementation of measures to protect vulnerable individuals from potential abuse.

UPDATE: Learn about the recent lawsuit filed in Harris County, TX

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Who Is Liable for Sexual Abuse By a Youth Minister?

Today, we have the privilege of speaking with Marc Lenahan, Esq., a prominent sexual abuse attorney based in Texas. In this interview, we delve into the potential civil actions that survivors of grooming and sexual abuse within religious organizations and universities can take against those who enable such abuse. Mr. Lenahan offers his expertise and insights, shedding light on the legal avenues available to survivors and the impact civil cases can have in preventing future instances of abuse. Join us as we explore this critical topic and empower survivors to seek justice.

Darla Medina (DM): Good afternoon, Mr. Lenahan. Thank you for joining us today to shed some light on an important aspect of cases like these. As a sexual abuse attorney based in Texas, could you please share your insights regarding civil cases against individuals who enable abuse within religious organizations and universities?

Marc Lenahan, Esq. (ML): Good afternoon, Darla. It's my pleasure to be here and discuss this critical topic. In cases involving grooming and sexual abuse within religious organizations and universities, survivors may have options to pursue civil cases against those who enable such abuse.

DM: That's important to know. Can you elaborate on what survivors of grooming and sexual abuse can do if they want to pursue a civil case against those responsible?

ML: Absolutely. Survivors of grooming and sexual abuse have the right to seek justice and hold accountable the individuals and institutions responsible for enabling the abuse. In civil cases, they can file lawsuits seeking compensation for the harm they have endured, including physical, emotional, and psychological damages.

DM: Are there any specific legal avenues survivors can explore when filing civil cases against individuals and organizations involved in these cases?

ML: Yes, there are several legal avenues available. Depending on the circumstances, survivors may pursue claims such as negligence, premises liability, breach of fiduciary duty, or intentional infliction of emotional distress. It's crucial for survivors to consult with an experienced sexual abuse attorney who can assess their case and guide them through the legal process.

DM: Given the nature of these cases, are there any challenges survivors may face when pursuing civil action against religious organizations or universities?

ML: Unfortunately, survivors often face challenges when pursuing civil action against powerful institutions. These challenges may include reluctance to acknowledge wrongdoing, attempts to silence survivors, and complex legal procedures. However, with the support of a knowledgeable attorney, survivors can navigate these challenges and seek justice.


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Darla Medina
About Darla Medina
Editor: Darla is a content writer with a focus on the legal field. She covers cases of sexual abuse, drunk driving, and preventable violent crime for the Legal Herald. Contact Darla: This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
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