UPDATE: 36 years for ex-Savoy fire captain who raped 22-year-old (w/video)

UPDATE: 36 years for ex-Savoy fire captain who raped 22-year-old (w/video)

URBANA — Former Savoy Fire Department Capt. David “D.J.” Dunn apologized to his victim and the community before being sentenced Tuesday to 36 years in prison for drugging and raping an probationary employee at a party at his home in Savoy.

“I would give anything to take back the events of that night,” he said.

Dunn faced a prison term of between 15 and 67 years after a jury found him guilty May 18 of aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Prior to Dunn’s sentencing hearing, Champaign County Judge Tom Difanis rejected a motion filed by Dunn’s attorney, Tom Bruno, for a new trial.

Difanis called the rape a “reprehensible and horrible offense.”

He sentenced Dunn to 15 years on each of two counts and six years on a third, all to be served consecutively.

Bruno said he plans to file a motion within a few days seeking reconsideration of the sentence.

The 22-year-old probationary firefighter Dunn assaulted recalled thinking how satisfying it would have been to kill him after the rape but said he also made a decision then and there about what kind of person he would be — one who does the right thing.

And, he said to Dunn, “death is too easy a punishment.”

The victim said while he did the right thing that night, Dunn inadvertently did, too, in selecting him, because he didn’t let shame and embarrassment deter him from seeking justice.

“If I wasn’t your first victim, I will be your last,” he said to Dunn in a lengthy victim-impact statement.

Dunn’s two older sisters testified Tuesday that he is a much-loved younger brother who had, prior to the rape, lived a life devoted to public service.

Maureen Morin of Mesa, Ariz., said her brother had been a Boy Scout and an altar boy and described him as bright, precocious and generous.

“I can honestly say he always put others first,” she said.

Morin also said her brother was “never one to party,” and she believes a party culture and alcohol were the true culprits.

Mindy McNeal, also of Mesa, described Dunn as a go-to guy for family and friends and “socially naive.”

She and her siblings had always thought of him as asexual, she said.

Two years ago, McNeal said, her brother had been prescribed testosterone to boost low levels, and he began experiencing physical and other changes after that.

It may have contributed to her brother’s current situation, McNeal said. However, she added, “I know that he would never intentionally hurt anyone.”

The 44-year-old Dunn had been planning to leave the community in the spring of 2017 to take a fire-chief job in Alaska and hosted going-away party at his home the night of April 1-2, when prosecutors said he gave an incapacitating drug to the victim and then sexually assaulted him.

Prior to the rape, he had also slipped Cialis, an erectile dysfunction drug, into the victim’s drink, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Troy Lozar.

Lozar said the victim had been intoxicated, and Dunn administered a bag of saline solution intravenously under the guise of helping him prevent a bad hangover.

A witness from the state crime lab testified at Dunn’s trial that one of two empty IV bags recovered from his trash contained ketamine, a drug sometimes used to sedate children undergoing minor procedures but also used illegally as a date-rape drug for its ability to incapacitate and sedate victims and blur their memories.

Lozar acknowledged that Dunn has family love and support, lacks a criminal record and has given much of his life to his work as an emergency responder.

“Those are all things to his credit,” he said.

Dunn was also in a position of trust, both in the community and with his victim, Lozar said, “but he has absolutely betrayed that trust.”

Lozar rejected the idea that a party culture was in any way at fault, saying if there was a party culture, Dunn created it. The proseuctor further rejected any notion that Dunn’s action was just a mistake, pointing out that Dunn even videotaped the rape.

“This was a plunge into one of the darkest crimes a person could commit on another human being,” Lozar said.

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