Antioch couple charged with sexual abuse

January 16, 2009 3:00:58 PM PST
In what prosecutors have called a "sickening" case, an Antioch couple has been charged with 21 counts of sexual abuse against three female victims beginning in 1990, according to a felony complaint filed Thursday in Contra Costa County Superior Court.

Zion Dutro, 47, has been charged with 21 counts of sexual abuse. His wife Glenda Dutro, 45, was charged with four counts.

The charges include forcible rape, sodomy by threat, forcible lewd acts on a child under 14 and lewd act on a child under 14 not by force, according to the complaint.

The defendants also each face an enhancement for sexually assaulting multiple victims and Zion Dutro faces an additional enhancement for having a prior sexual abuse conviction in 1995 against a child under 14.

Zion Dutro was a registered sex offender when police arrested the couple at their home at 1915 Alpha Way on Wednesday, Antioch police said.

According to Antioch police Sgt. Diane Aguinaga, all of the victims were family members.

Two of the three victims in the current case were under 14 years old when the abuse was happing, according to the complaint.

According to Senior Deputy District Attorney Mark Peterson, the 1995 conviction was for sexual abuse of a fourth victim.

The abuse of the other three victims continued even after Zion Dutro's conviction and sex offender registration, Peterson said.

Although Glenda Dutro is only charged with four counts of sexual abuse, she was present in the house during much of the abuse and in some cases actively facilitated it, Peterson said. He described her as "an aider and abettor in the abuse."

"There were times when she would point to a certain individual and tell them it was their turn to 'cuddle' with her husband," Peterson said.

Zion Dutro also allegedly repeatedly threatened to hurt the victims and in several instances threatened to hurt the other victims if one victim didn't cooperate, according to the complaint.

Police said the three victims started coming forward to report the abuse when they heard the couple was planning to adopt children from Mexico, prompting an eight-month investigation.

Peterson said more sexual abuse allegedly occurred than what was listed in the charges and his office would likely file additional charges against the couple.

If convicted of the current charges, Zion Dutro could potentially face a life sentence.

Zion Dutro is being held at the Martinez Detention Facility on $8.7 million bail and Glenda Dutro is being held at the West County Detention Facility on $2.4 million bail, according to a county jail official.

They were both scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez.