17 Jan 2009

Religious parents accused of sexual abuse on children spanning 25 years

Costa Contra Costa Times - California   January 15, 2009

by By Roman Gokhman and Hilary |Costa Contra Costa Times

ANTIOCH — Prosecutors filed more than 20 sexual abuse counts against an Antioch couple Thursday, accusing them of committing crimes during the past 25 years.

Zion and Glenda Dutro were arrested Tuesday at their home in the 1900 block of Alpha Way after an eight-month investigation, police said.

The investigation began when six female alleged victims — all of them family members who lived with the suspects — came forward after learning that the Dutros were thinking about adopting children from Mexico, police said

The women are now all in their 20s, Antioch police Sgt. Diane Aguinaga said. A seventh alleged victim, now in his 40s, was identified. However, Aguinaga said, the statute of limitations on his abuse has lapsed.

Some of the alleged victims are the children of the suspects' family members.

"They were taken away from their parents because of abuse," Aguinaga said.

The most recent case occurred about three to five years ago, when one of the victims was 21 years old, Aguinaga said. Some of the victims were abused from the age of 18 months, she said.

Zion Dutro, 47, is a registered sex offender, stemming from a 1995 abuse conviction. Aguinaga said the victim in that case is among the six in the new allegations.

"After he got out of jail and did his time, the abuse continued," she said. "They kept a tight (control) over these kids. They were all home-schooled. There was a lot of brainwashing."

Aguinaga said a new allegation came to light in 2003, but police got nowhere because the Dutros convinced their children that "the police were a test from Satan" that needed to be ignored. So the victims declined to speak to investigators.

The Contra Costa District Attorney's Office filed 21 counts against Zion Dutro, who is being held on more than $8 million bail.

Glenda Dutro, 45, was charged with two counts of felony cruelty to children and two counts of lewd and lascivious acts on minors and is being held on $2 million bail.

"She is an accessory," Aguinaga said. "The mother is being charged because she knew about this all along and did nothing to protect the children."

Neighbors said the Dutros were friendly but kept to themselves, except around holidays when they came door-to-door with cookies and invitations for neighbors and their children to attend parties at their church, Calvary Open Bible Church.

"They were very nice," said Maritza Moreno, who had lived next door to the Dutros for two years and twice accepted their invitation to attend church. "They were good people."

Another neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said the couple often did missionary work in other countries, including Mexico. The police confirmed that account Thursday. The neighbor said she was aware that Zion Dutro was a registered sex offender but believed he had turned his life around with church.

"It does happen, people do change their lives," she said.

Pastor Kent Valentine at Calvary Open Bible on Putnam Street refused to comment and would not confirm that the Dutros were members of the evangelical Christian congregation.

But Zion and Glenda Dutro are listed as contacts on the church's Web site for one of its group sessions, called Forgiven. The group's objective is described as "restoring Lives and relationships by helping people develop a lifestyle of Biblical forgiveness," and goals include "eliminating self-condemnation," "sincerely asking others for forgiveness" and "restoring broken relationships."

Neighbors said at least two teenagers used to live in the two-story stucco and brick home and were frequently seen doing yard work in the impeccably landscaped front yard, but that they had not seen them in at least three years. On Thursday night, the house, just a block from bustling East 18th Street, was shuttered and dark.

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1 comment:

  1. How can a 7th victim be in his 40's if the suspect is 47?