A Talmage couple was arrested Thursday night in what authorities are calling the most atrocious case of child sexual abuse in decades, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.
Donald Earl Dunakin, 61, and his girlfriend of 30 years, Ina Selene Medina, 47, are suspected of sexually abusing several children they had in common over a 13-year period of time. The “multiple” children identified as victims were between the age of 3 and 16 years old at the time of the alleged abuse, according to the MCSO.
“In my 32 years of law enforcement, this is the most heinous case of sex crimes against children I've ever seen,” said Mendocino County Tom Allman Friday, after being briefed on the investigation.
Child Protective Services called the Sheriff's Office Wednesday, and the couple was arrested the next day, according to MCSO spokesman Capt. Greg Van Patten. The children were taken from the home.
“It's a very heartbreaking case,” Van Patten said. “This is the reason we do the job we do, to put these types of cases together and protect children.”
Dunakin was arrested at 1:30pm, Jan. 23 on suspicion of engaging in three or more acts of substantial sexual conduct with a child younger than 14, sodomy on a child younger than 14, use of force on a child, aggravated sexual assault on a child, torture and sexual penetration on a victim with a mental disorder or a developmental or physical disability.
Medina was arrested on suspicion of torture, engaging in three or more acts of substantial sexual conduct with a child younger than 14, use of force on a child, aggravated sexual assault on a child and anal or genital penetration by a foreign object with force.
According to a Friday press release from the MCSO, the two were also arrested on suspicion of lewd acts with a child, oral copulation on a child and continuous sexual abuse of a child.
The MCSO is still working to identify which of the couple's “multiple” children were victims, according to Van Patten, and is still investigating the case and preparing it for the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office to review and file charges in court.
Dunakin and Medina are each held at the Mendocino County Jail under $250,000 bail.
Anyone with information about Dunakin and Medina is urged to call the Sheriff's Office's tip line at 234-2100.
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)