SANDPOINT — A Priest River man awaiting trial on ritualized and sexual abuse charges is petitioning to have his named changed.
Dana Andrew Furtney seeks to change his name to Benaiah Joy Moses, according to a petition filed in Bonner County Magistrate Court.
Furtney said in the petition that he is pursuing the name change for “prophetic and spiritual reasons.” He cites two biblical passages — Revelations 2:17 and John 3:5-8. The latter passage refers to Jesus’ stating that no one can enter the kingdom of God unless “they are born of water and spirit.”
Furtney explains in the petition that he was “born again of water and in the spirit” at 7:37 a.m. on Dec. 1, 2017, in Pod 500 of the Bonner County Jail. It appears to have occurred in the hours leading up to his arraignment in 1st District Court on 14 felony charges ranging from ritualized abuse, sexual abuse of a child, felony injury to a child and domestic battery. Furtney entered pleas of not guilty during the hearing.
Furtney, 49, was arrested after the alleged victims reported the ongoing abuse to authorities in Toledo, Ohio.
Furtney was originally arrested on a fraction of the offenses in October of last year. The case expanded significantly as a result of grand jury proceedings that were conducted in December.
Four of the alleged victims testified before the impaneled jury of the abuse they suffered at the hands of Furtney at his home off Peninsula Loop Road north of Priest River.
Furtney is accused of imprisoning a boy in an unheated outhouse for several days in March 2013 and forcing another boy to consume his excrement as part of a ceremonial right, according to court documents.
Furtney is further accused of sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl and engaging in lewd conduct with a 6-year-old girl.
Furntney, according to court documents, used manipulation and religious beliefs to control the alleged victims. Furtney also told them that Jesus approved of his disciplinary actions and sexual contact as appropriate forms of punishment.
Furtney’s four-day jury trial is set to start on Feb. 13. He remains held at the county jail with bail set at $500,000.
A hearing on Furtney’s petition for his name change is scheduled for Feb. 21.
Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.