The Massillon community is rallying around the 9-year-old girl who was abducted and raped, raising funds to help her achieve her dream of going to Disney World.
Massillon Sergeant Brian Muntean said on a viral Facebook post that the department began crowdsourcing funds after receiving a massive amount of inquiries from concerned citizens about who wanted to help the girl. According to the department's post, it has been the girl's dream to go to Disney World in Orlando.
The department's entire message can be read below:
So many of you out there have asked about any type of fundraiser to help the victim of the horrific crime we recently investigated. We've received phone calls, emails, and Facebook messages inquiring.
I spoke with the family this morning, and told them that the police department and members of the community have been asking about how they can help this little girl. We learned that her dream was to go to Disney World (Orlando). As Cpt Paul Covert said, "She's already been in the worst place. We'd like to send her to the best place". I cannot agree more. That being said, at this point, I'd like to ask for some feedback from citizens. I'm looking to see how many people would be willing to donate funds to make it happen. We would set up an account at a local bank. The goal would be to send their family of two adults and three children to Disney World.
I already got a phone call from Brent Bordner of Patriot Towing and he already said to put him in for a minimum of $1,000 donation. Wow.
Please post under comments below or if you feel better sending us a private message, that's fine, too. At this point, there is no account set up, but we would make that happen very soon, and we would post an update on our Facebook as to where / how those donations can be sent.
God Bless all of you...
Sgt B Muntean
Dennis Menefee is charged with abducting and raping the young girl, both first-degree felonies. Police say he impersonated a police officer on Monday to abduct the child when she was walking home from the library near St. Paul's Church in Massillon.
She was allegedly forced into a vehicle and driven by Menefee to a nearby parking lot where he assaulted, beat and threatened her prior to letting her go. When the girl got home, she told her parents, who called the police.
Appearing in court
Menefee, 46 of Port Washington, made an appearance in Massillon Municipal Court Friday. He is charged with first degree kidnapping and rape of a minor under the age of 13. The judge ordered a $1 million bond on each charge.
“[The] seriousness of these charges and the risk of him possibly doing this to another child, you know that two million dollars kind of says he’s not going nowhere,” said Detective David McConnell of the Massillon Police Department.
If convicted on both counts he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. His next court appearance is scheduled for October 7.
A lengthy record
Menefee is also linked to a 1993 Wyoming case where he picked up a 40-year-old woman from a street corner and raped her before kicking her out of his vehicle. The woman froze to death and Menefee pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
He was sentenced to four-to-seven years in prison for the case, but was granted parole in 2003 after serving less than four years. Corrections officials say Menefee was transported to an Ohio prison after his stint in Wyoming and served nine more months for a robbery-related case.
Menefee has prior convictions dating back to as early as 1990. He was sentenced to three years' probation in 1990 for fourth-degree grand theft, according to Tuscarawas County court documents.
In 1997, he was sentenced to two years' probation for second-degree robbery, but didn't not comply with his parole, according to court documents.