Man found guilty of ritualized abuse

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SANDPOINT — A Bonner County jury convicted a Priest River man Thursday of 10 counts of lewd conduct, in addition to charges of sexual abuse of a child, ritualized abuse and felony domestic violence.

Dana Andrew Furtney had not outward reaction to the verdicts, which came after about two hours of deliberation. Furtney faces the prospect of a lifelong prison term when he is sentenced in 1st District Court on May 7.

Furtney, who remains held at the Bonner County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail, was acquitted of one count of lewd conduct.

Furtney, 49, is accused of using his deep religious beliefs to victimize his wife, son and daughters at the family’s home north of Priest River between 2009 and 2013. A grand jury indicted him on 14 felony charges late last year.

Furtney is accused of fondling his daughters’ breast and genitals, in addition to having his son consume feces as part of as a religious rite. He also allegedly chained his son in a subterranean passageway linking structures on their property and lashing him to an outhouse wall for at least a week.

Furtney, who had a severely dog-eared Bible at his side throughout the proceedings, took the stand on Thursday against the wishes of his defense counsel, Deputy Public Defender Susie Jensen.

“That was my idea,” Furtney said of making his son consume feces.

Furtney also admitted on the stand that he could have inappropriately touched his daughters while giving massages, although he insisted to jurors that it was not for the purposes of his own sexual gratification.

Furtney’s soon-to-be-former wife testified that she was locked in a set of stocks and physically abused by her children and sexually abused with a sex toy. The state has portrayed the woman as a victim while the defense implied she was an accomplice in Furtney’s misconduct.

“In general, we made decisions together,” Furtney told jurors.

Jensen emphasized to jurors that Furtney’s wife testified that she was never actually injured and held that the ritualized abuse was actually just a form of discipline.

“This was discipline. The state has failed to prove that element,” Jensen told jurors, referring to the ritualized abuse charge.

Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall argued that Furtney’s wife was conned.

“She’s been manipulated. It’s his manipulation that got us to this place.,” Marshall said during his closing remarks.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by phone at 208-263-9534, by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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