Missionary Accused of Molestation

An 80-year-old Orange County man was arrested April 5 on suspicion of child sex abuse. Douglas Dale Whinery, a native of Tustin, was an active missionary and was involved in several churches in Foothill Ranch, Santa Ana, and Yorba Linda. He even flew a personal jet to Indian reservations to do missionary work there. He stands accused of sexually molesting two Tustin girls under the age of 10 for several consecutive years.

Cases involving institutionalized clergy sex abuse have been highly publicized. In 2002, the vast conspiracy of child sex abuse and cover-ups by the Roman Catholic Church of Boston scandal was exposed by the Boston Globe (as depicted in the 2015 film Spotlight). Parents and caretakers should still be aware, however, that not all sex abuse is part of a vast institutional conspiracy—individual religious leaders (like Douglas Whinery, a missionary and self-proclaimed pastor) are still capable of independently meeting, grooming, and sexually abusing minors. Parents should be wary of any adult, no matter what their age, social position, or occupation, who tries to get close to their children.

Signs that an adult may be grooming your child for sexual abuse may include:

  • Complimenting the child constantly
  • Showing inordinate interest in the child’s sexual development
  • Touching or hugging the child frequently
  • Making excuses to spend “alone time” with the child, especially on overnight trips
  • Giving the child gifts or money more than is usual or customary
  • Telling the child that he or she is “special”

If you suspect that your or another person’s child is being groomed for sexual abuse or has already been abused, then the time to act is now. You should act quickly to preserve your child’s victims’ rights. A child sex abuse attorney can help you sort through the legal maze of personal injury law and help get you the financial settlement you deserve. Even if a child abuser is acquitted during a criminal trial, you may still sue them in civil court and recover damages. You may also be able to file a complaint against the organization the molester represents if it can be proven that the organization was negligent in its hiring or prosecution of the molester. Contact the law firm of Estey Bomberger at 1.800.925.0723 for a free and confidential consultation.