Candidate investigated over photos

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SANDPOINT — A candidate for City Council was investigated for allegedly texting pictures of his genitalia to random people in 2011, according to a Bonner County Sheriff’s Office report.

The investigation dates back to when Mose Clement Dunkel was a mayoral candidate. He’s currently a council candidate on the Nov. 7 ballot.

A Bonner County sheriff detective’s report at various points turned up on social media, prompting a public records request which yielded a hard copy of the report.

In it, a sheriff’s detective said he was contacted by an Alaska state trooper who said an Idaho man was using his mobile phone to send pictures of his genitalia to random people. One of the recipients was a state trooper dispatcher. Two pictures contained images of an adult male’s erect penis and there were also pictures of a male’s face, the report said.

Dunkel, 41, was identified as a suspect and he was interviewed by a sheriff’s detective.

“Dunkel admitted to me during the interview that he has been caught by his wife trying to set up sexual encounters with females using his cellphone, so he bought this trac phone (sic) thinking he couldn’t be tracked,” Det. Tony Riffel noted in the report.

Dunkel told the investigator that he used numbers from his regular phone and numbers obtained from Facebook to send the images.

“If they got angry he never replied back to them. If they engaged him in conversation, he would try to set up a sexual encounter with him,” Riffel said in his report.

Dunkel told the investigator that he rarely revealed his identity to the women he was contacting and used the prepaid wireless TracFone because the phone number would not be associated with him.

The allegations against Dunkel were reviewed by Sandpoint Police, but the department handed off the investigation to the sheriff’s office to sidestep appearances of a conflict of interest because Dunkel was a candidate in the mayoral election, the report indicates.

Riffel concluded his report by saying there were no pending charges against Dunkel in Idaho, but added that criminal charges against him in Alaska were “very likely.”

However, there is no record of Dunkel being charged with a criminal offense in Alaska, according to that state’s online courts database.

Dunkel said on Friday that the police report never should have been released because he was never charged with a crime.

“I believe the information was released maliciously,” said Dunkel.

Dunkel also released the following statement:

“While this is a very embarrassing situation it is in the past and I hope people will understand I’m not proud of my actions. I am an imperfect human being and my family does not deserve to suffer from something that was so many years ago. My lawyer has advised me not to speak directly on this matter and I do plan legal action against responsible parties for maliciously releasing exempt to the public.”

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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