‘Spiritual mentor’ of ex-Baylor campus minister arrested in sexual abuse of two Waco boys

Former campus minister of Chi Alpha at Baylor University previously arrested
Daniel Savala (left) and Christopher Hundl (right)
Daniel Savala (left) and Christopher Hundl (right)(KWTX GRAPHIC)
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 5:57 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 2, 2023 at 2:18 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A Harris County man described as a “spiritual mentor” to a former Baylor University campus minister was arrested Friday on charges that he sexually abused two Waco boys in Harris and McLennan Counties.

U.S. Marshals Service Lone Star Task Force arrested Daniel Savala, 67, in Harris County on a charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child, Waco Police Department spokeswoman Cierra Shipley confirmed Friday.

Savala was called a “spiritual mentor” by Christopher Hundl, 38, who was arrested May 25 in Waco. Hundl is also charged with continuous sexual abuse of a young child.

Shipley said it was unclear Friday when Savala will be returned to McLennan County to face the charges.

Hundl was not a Baylor employee but had served since 2019 as campus minister for Chi Alpha chapter, a Christian fellowship group at Baylor. He recently resigned from the organization, a Baylor spokeswoman said.

Baylor University officials said Chi Alpha suspended the organization’s charter after Hundl and Savala came under investigation in the sexual abuse cases.

Savala has been linked to other Chi Alpha groups at other Texas universities, including Texas A&M University.

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, a registered sex offender, about two years ago, and Savala encouraged the two boys to perform self-gratification.

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 the man “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. One 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.

The scenario happened again in March 2022 in a sauna at Hundl’s residence in Waco, according to an arrest affidavit.

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 man masturbated both boys at Savala’s sauna in Houston.

A Waco police spokeswoman said the investigation is ongoing.

Continuous sexual abuse of a child carries a minimum penalty upon conviction of 25 years in prison without parole up to life in prison without parole.