Northwest Arkansas Times

Sexual assault case may involve multiple victims


Northwest Arkansas Times

March 14, 2008

Fayetteville police are seeking additional victims who may be linked with an area youth minister accused of sexual assault.

Keith Daniel Kiger, 31, of ®94 U. S. 71 South in Winslow, was arrested Wednesday on a felony charge of first-degree sexual assault.

“We’re focusing the rest of our investigation on finding any additional victims,” Detective David Williams said. “If there are any, we plan to seek them out and get statements.”

Kiger is accused of fondling a 14-year-old girl in the back of his van at various parking lots across Fayetteville. Police believe the two met at a church camp where Kiger served as a counselor. Investigators have not yet identified which camp he was working for, but detectives plan to investigate further.

According to Williams, Kiger previously served as a youth minister for First Baptist Church in Winslow before leaving in August to work for a church located in Brentwood.

“When he left our church, it was under good circumstances, ” said Glenn Jorgenson, a deacon with First Baptist Church in Winslow. “ He said he felt his ministry was taking a different turn.”

Jorgenson said Kiger was with First Baptist Church for about four-and-a-half years before transferring to Grace Fellowship Baptist Church.

“The main thing we want to get across is that the young lady involved in the incident is not from our church or from Winslow, ” he said.

Williams said Kiger did not have any youth ministerial duties at his new church.

During an interview with police on Wednesday, Kiger admitted knowing that the victim was younger than 18 and that he was in a position of authority when the sexual contact occurred. He admitted to engaging in sexual contact with the victim as many as six times.

Kiger told police that his relationship with the girl began as part of his ministry. He admitted counseling the victim about problems she had been having in her personal life for several months before the sexual contact occurred.

“We’re not going to let this case fall through the cracks, ” Williams said. “ We plan to investigate further.”

Kiger was being held in the Washington County Detention Center on a $ 25, 000 bond Thursday. He is expected to make his first appearance in Washington County Circuit Court today.

Those with any additional information can contact Fayetteville police at 587-3555.

SNAP Note:  First Baptist Church in Winslow, Arkansas, is an SBC-affiliated church.