Lacey couple face abuse charges

Date: 2009-05-14
Source: The Olympian

Jailed: Parents accused of raping daughter, 7

JEREMY PAWLOSKI

LACEY – A Lacey husband and wife were in jail Wednesday, accused of first-degree child rape after their adopted 7-year-old daughter told a school counselor that they had sexually abused her, court papers state.

The Lacey couple had adopted the girl shortly after her birth in China, Lacey police Lt. Jim Mack said.

Eddy Tony Whisenhunt, 51, and Donna Marie Whisenhunt, 47, were in custody Wednesday at the Thurston County Jail on suspicion of first-degree child rape. Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor set Eddy Tony Whisenhunt’s bail at $150,000 and Donna Marie Whisenhunt’s bail at $100,000 after finding probable cause to order them held on suspicion of child rape.

The child told a school counselor about the alleged abuse, then told a detective after the counselor contacted police, according to court papers.

“When asked when was the last time she had ‘secret time’ with her father, (the child) said she was still 7 years old and her father had told her they had to stop because if the police found out, he would go to jail,” court papers state. There were no other children in the home, Mack said.

Intercity Transit spokeswoman Meg Kester said Wednesday that Whisenhunt has been an employee for nearly 16 years. He worked as a van driver, for both a fixed route and the transit’s Dial-A-Lift service, Kester said in an e-mail.

“As with all operator personnel hires, a criminal background check was completed by the Washington State Patrol which confirmed a clean record and no arrests,” Kester wrote. “He is considered a good employee who has received safe driving awards and customer compliments for his helpfulness to transit customers.”

Kester wrote that Whisenhunt is on leave.

The alleged abuse occurred over a four-year period, court papers state. The husband and wife told Lacey police that they were unaware that the other was abusing the girl, Mack said.

“Each parent was committing the abusive acts to the girl without the other’s knowledge,” Mack said of what the couple has told detectives.

The child is in the custody of Child Protective Services, he said.

Jeremy Pawloski covers public safety for The Olympian. He can be reached at 360-754-5465 or jpawloski@theolympian.com.

 

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