Bound over for trial: Man accused of sexual assault of child waives preliminary hearing

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WAUKESHA COUNTY — 72-year-old Peter Knebel waived his right to a preliminary hearing in a Waukesha County court on Thursday, September 3rd. Knebel is charged with first degree sexual assault of a child – sexual contact with a person under the age of 13.

Peter Knebel

Peter Knebel

Knebel is a pastor at a church in Waukesha and a school bus driver who recently retired. Sheriff’s officials say they were made aware of the alleged assault — and during the investigation, Knebel admitted to his involvement. He also admitted to committing other violations against children in the past, officials say.

Knebel served as a pastor at Fox River Christian Church in Waukesha — and has been suspended as a result of this investigation.

He also worked as a school bus driver for the City of Waukesha School District from August 2009 through June 2015 (when he retired). School district officials say Knebel worked for their private bus company “First Student” most recently.

A criminal complaint issued against Knebel says on July 21st of this year, Waukesha County Sheriff’s officials began an investigation into reports that a child was touched inappropriately by Knebel at Fox River Christian Church on Lawnsdale Road.

Fox River Christian Church

Fox River Christian Church

The complaint says the child was using a computer in the gym when Knebel informed the child she was not allowed to play games on the computer. Knebel then allegedly asked the child to follow him into his office, where she could play on the computer. While there, Knebel is accused of asking the child to sit on his lap while she played on the computer — and he’s then accused of touching the child inappropriately.

Sheriff’s officials were contacted by the church’s executive director after the executive director was made aware of the allegations being made by the child.

The complaint indicates the church’s executive director confronted Knebel about these allegations, and said Knebel told him he was “sick” about the allegations — and “denied he would ever do anything like that.”

Waukesha County Sheriff’s officials met with Knebel, and the complaint indicates Knebel admitted to touching the child inappropriately — and when asked why he did it, officials say he said: “That’s the million-dollar question.”

Sheriff’s officials are concerned there may be other victims in this case. Anyone with information about other incidents is asked to call authorities 262-896-8047.

Meanwhile, the judge in the case bound Knebel over for trial on Thursday. Knebel will enter a plea to the charge on September 30th.