Deputy accused of abusing Muckleshoot girls

Denny Gulla, a sheriff's deputy in King County, Washington, is being accused of abusing young girls, including at least three cases on the Muckleshoot Reservation.

Wadena George was 14 when she says Gulla repeatedly took her into custody when he was providing security at a tribal housing complex. Now 24 and serving a jail sentence for a juvenile-related crime, she says he touched her in improper ways. Her mother says the incident forced her to turn to drugs.

George and other people on the reservation also say Gulla had a sexual relationship with another Muckleshoot girl who was 14 years old at the time. The girl struggled with alcohol and drug abuse in her family, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The girl is now an adult but the paper didn't give her name because she suffered brain damage after being struck by a car in an apparent suicide attempt.

A third Muckleshoot girl was seen with Gulla and had sexual relations with him, according to several friends of the girl. She was believed to be 13 or 14 at the time and is still a minor. Her guardian refused to let her talk to the Post-Intelligencer.

"Denny was Denny around here," Michele McCloud told the paper. "Nobody could do anything about it. He was a cop, and we were a bunch of native kids that nobody was going to listen to."

William "Sonny" Miller, a former council member, heard about Gulla's relationships with "three or four" Muckleshoot girls. "He more or less drove around here like no one could touch him. He was threatening people: 'I won't haul you in if you do this and this and this,'" Miller told the paper.

This was around the time when one of the girls apparently tried to commit suicide on the reservation. The incident prompted the tribal council to pass a resolution to ask the sheriff's department not to allow Gulla to work on the reservation.

Gulla no longer patrols the reservation but he is still on the police force after 23 years and other complaints of abuse against girls. King County Sheriff Sue Rahr says he should have been fired a long time ago but that the police union keeps fighting the charges.

Get the Story:
Deputy accused of molestations, abuse (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer 11/15)

Relevant Links:
King County Sheriff's Office -
Muckleshoot Tribe -