SANTA ANA, Calif. – An 81-year-old former missionary was convicted and sentenced to 18 years in state prison yesterday for sexually assaulting three girls under the age of 10. Douglas Dale Whinery, 81, Tustin, pleaded guilty to seven felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14 with a sentencing enhancement allegation for committing lewd acts upon multiple victims.
At the time of the crime, Whinery was a former pastor and missionary and was actively involved at Olive Crest Church in Santa Ana, Foothill Family Church in Foothill Ranch, and Grace Church in Yorba Linda. The defendant was in a position of trust with access to children.
Between January 2005 and June 2006, Whinery invited 9-year-old Jane Doe 3 and her sister to California to go to a popular local theme park. The defendant molested the victim while she was in his care.
Around Nov. 7, 2011, Whinery approached 10-year-old Jane Doe 1 and her relative, 8-year-old Jane Doe 2, while they were in a park in Tustin. Whinery groomed the victims by befriending their family member, providing money for a place to live, taking the victims to school, having the victims spend the night in his home, and inviting them to attend church with him.
On multiple occasions between Nov. 7, 2011, and March 28, 2016, Whinery abused his position of trust and sexually assaulted Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 while the victims were alone with him.
On March 28, 2016, Jane Doe 2 reported the sexual assault to a family member, who contacted the Tustin Police Department (TPD). TPD investigated this case and subsequently arrested the defendant on March 30, 2016.
There are other uncharged victims who were prepared to testify regarding Whinery's sexual assaults going back as far as 40 years ago. In court yesterday, one of the victims gave a powerful impact statement pursuant to Marsy's Law. She stated in part, “I cannot separate and move forward from this … I try to imagine what it may have looked like had Dale Whinery never existed. Would I have been afraid? Would I be chronically sad?” She went on to say, “Here is what I do know. I am a survivor … I know God has a purpose here on earth for me, whether it be to make sure you finally rot in jail or to tell my stories so others can survive too… or is it just to raise my little boy into a GREAT man.” The victim also said in part, “I contacted churches he worked with and places he ‘served' … No one believed me or took steps to even investigate … I think there is much room for growth in our laws, procedures, policies and practices when it comes to pedophiles and protecting children from such predators. More should be done.”
Senior Deputy District Attorney Heather Brown of the Sexual Assault Unit prosecuted this case.
Orange County District Attorney / Case # 16CF0858 / December 16, 2016