Local News

Zumwalt pleads not guilty to rape, child molestation charges

SPOKANE, Wash. - In Spokane County Superior Court Tuesday morning Dean 'DJ' Zumwalt, pleaded not guilty to charges of Rape of a Child 1st Degree, Indecent Liberties (Forcible Compulsion), Child Molestation 1st Degree and Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.  

Zumwalt is already a Level 1 Registered Sex Offender from a third degree rape conviction back in 2010.

In mid-December, Spokane County Sheriff's Office Detective Kevin Richey began investigating a report of a 7-year-old female being sexually abused by a family friend, known as Dean “DJ” Zumwalt.

During the investigation, detectives found another 8-year-old female who also said Zumwalt sexually abused her.

Families of the young victims were in court Tuesday morning, visibly emotional during Zumwalt's hearing. They did not wish to speak to media at this time.

Court documents show Zumwalt groomed his victims and their families for years. The mother of one girl was a friend of his for 10 years. The grandparents of the other girl, lived nearby.

A search warrant revealed that Zumwalt would have one girl pose as his niece and invite the other girl to sleep over at his house. The Sheriff's Office says it adds up to a pattern.

“Very seldom are these types of acts, whether they are abduction or sexual abuse, random. Most of the time they are calculated. They groom, they prey, and what they do is find out ways for people to get their guard down,” explained Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Mark Gregory.

They believe there may be more victims out there that have not been identified.

Zumwalt's bail is set at $350,000.

His trial is set for March 12th. 


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