Ex-campus minister at Baylor University, ‘spiritual mentor’ indicted on charges they sexually abused boys

Christopher Hundl (left) and Daniel Savala (right)
Christopher Hundl (left) and Daniel Savala (right)(KWTX GRAPHIC)
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 4:27 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A former Baylor University campus minister and the convicted sex offender he described as his “spiritual mentor” were indicted Thursday on charges they sexually abused two young boys over a two-year period.

A McLennan County grand jury indicted Christopher Hundl, 38, and Daniel Savala, 67, each on one count of continuous trafficking of persons, first-degree felonies punishable by a minimum of 25 years in prison without parole up to life without parole.

Hundl, who was freed from jail May 24 after posting a $50,00 bond, served since 2019 as campus minister for Chi Alpha chapter, a campus Christian fellowship group at Baylor. He was not a Baylor employee and has since resigned from the organization, a Baylor spokeswoman said.

Baylor officials suspended the group’s charter after Hundl and Savala came under investigation in the sexual abuse cases.

Savala, who remains in the McLennan County Jail under a $250,000 bond, was arrested in June in Houston. He was convicted of sexual abuse of a minor in Ketchikan County, Alaska, in October 2012, according to an enhancement allegation in his indictment.

Savala has been linked to Chi Alpha groups at other universities, including Texas A&M University and Sam Houston State University. The group has ties to the Assemblies of God Church.

According to an arrest affidavit, Waco police received referrals from Child Protective Services workers that allege Hundl was in a sauna with two boys and Savala, and that Savala encouraged the two boys to pleasure themselves.

A Waco police detective contacted Hundl, who told him that Savala has been a mentor to Hundl since Hundl was in college. Hundl told the detective that they would masturbate because Savala “described this as a spiritual activity.”

Hundl said Savala acted as a “grandfather” to the boys, and said that between the summer of 2021 and March 2022, he took the boys to use a sauna at Savala’s home in Houston on several occasions. On at least one visit, the man told the children to perform self-gratification, which Hundl said they did while he and Savala were in the sauna with the boys.

A similar situation occurred again in March 2022 in a sauna at Hundl’s residence in Waco, according to an arrest affidavit.

The indictment alleges the men abused the boys during a 30-day period or more from May 2021 to April 2023. The indictment charges that they committed two or more acts of trafficking of persons by causing the boys to engage in such prohibited conduct as indecency with a child by contact, indecency with a child by exposure and sexual performance of a child.

One of the boys, who was 11 at the time, confirmed the alleged incidents in Houston and Waco during a forensic interview. The boy said Hundl and Savala also told them not to tell anyone about the alleged abuse, the affidavit alleges.

The boy also said that the Savala touched both boys inappropriately at Savala’s sauna in Houston.