Volunteer Fireman Pleads Not Guilty To Abusing Underage Girl, Abandoning Dog

September 30, 2010

A Century volunteer fireman has pleaded not guilty to charges that he sexually abused an underage girl and abandoning dogs rescued by the department.

Dustin Ryan Burkett, 28, was due to appear at an arraignment hearing Thursday morning on one felony count of lewd and lascivious battery on a victim 12 to 15 years of age, one felony count of grand theft, and misdemeanor charges of abandonment of animals and obstruction of justice.

But Burkett waived arraignment through his lawyer and pleaded not guilty to all charges. No trail date has been set, according to court records.

Burkett is accused of sexually abusing a 15-year old girl at Lake Stone Campground in 2009. In a separate incident,  he allegedly abandoned three dogs that were reported to be “rescued” by the Century Station of Escambia Fire Rescue in August.

For an earlier story, click here.


27 Responses to “Volunteer Fireman Pleads Not Guilty To Abusing Underage Girl, Abandoning Dog”

  1. oh my on October 3rd, 2010 9:11 am

    when i was 15, i had the “hots” for a grown man who was about 21. he worked at th record store (showing my age now). i went to the dance at the national guard armory in pensacola and he did show up once. he was interested, but he asked me how old i was and when i told him, he said, very nicely, that i was a really pretty girl, but too young. i was willing. but i was too young to realize what i was willing for. i am so glad to this day that that man kept me innocent. you guys really need to remember that things don’t change that much. girls still don’t realize what they are getting into. they just want to be affirmed as pretty, sexy, and wanted. going through with the act is altogether something else. i am teaching my teenage son about a conscience, which i don’t see many being taught about these days, and that it is more on him if a girl gets pregnant than it is hers. i also taught my teenage daughers the same thing. because it is on both to make sure nothing happens. but, i have to say, the boy gets the worst end to an extent….a pregnancy for a few moments of passion, to a girl not loved, dna don’t lie, child support for the child’s life, and maybe the boy’s if he doesn’t pay it right, not counting the blended family and lost values and morals because of the mixed messages sent. i am so dismayed.

  2. thinking on October 2nd, 2010 11:46 pm

    How long has this law been in place? My father was 21 or 22 when he married my mother at the age of 14. They have been married for 55 years would this had been against the law? If you are over 18 or 21 and you marry someone that is a minor is it against the law to have sex with them ? Is this law just for people that are not married?

  3. David Huie Green on October 2nd, 2010 10:44 pm

    “It’s weird that a 14 year old can be tried as an adult”

    Yep, it’s weird. We figure minors should not be treated like adults but sometimes they do things we figure no minor would do, like murder people. We also have a legal system in which minors can sue for status as adults. Howard Hughes used it to take over his parent’s business when still young.

    Anyway, a minor can convince the courts they are adult by their actions, either responsible or strangely irresponsible. Until such time as they do so, they are still considered children. I’ve seen some in their thirties who would test out as children but are considered adults. Another strange thing.

    David in a strange world

  4. weird on October 2nd, 2010 8:30 am

    It’s weird that a 14 year old can be tried as an adult for murder and get life in prison, but it’s a crime to have sex with a randy 15 year old. I’m not saying putting a 15 year old onto breeding is right, but I don’t think it is nearly as serious as actual pedophilia and I don’t think it should be treated very seriously.

    Come to think of it, my Aunt married when she was 15…

  5. barrineau on October 1st, 2010 9:21 am

    Byrneville..you Sir or Mam are right, I am sure most of us have things in our past that we would not want the world to know. I am also sure that most of us when we were 28 years old did not have sex with a 15 year old child.There is no excuse , no matter how well written , that in my mind can excuse this MAN for his actions. You are right that people need to be more over-protective of there kids( If you ask my kids I’m sure they will tell you that I am to a fault). Please remember that this was a grown man , not a teenager. The lord is my rod and my staff , and I would have beat them both with them.

  6. Byrneville Resident on October 1st, 2010 7:57 am

    Just stop and think back. What did YOU do as a teen, or young person?? I sure don’t want all my mistakes published for the world to see. I did some really dumb things. Thank God He forgave me. But how many of you (including “barrineau” who is the father of three girls, one of them 14), how many of you engaged in some “shady” things when you were young?? Not many of us can say that we are “lily white” and without some kind of guilt. The world today encourages risky behavior and it is all over TV. If you want to be a parent who is responsible, raise your child with the right values. Then WATCH OVER them! Be over-protective! Even then, young adults are going to do what they want when they find a chance! Didn’t we??? I don’t know the guilt or innocence of either of these two young people, but I do know that it is sad that today a girl can SAY anything she wants and they will arrest the guy and he will be “branded” for life. Maybe it was his fault. Maybe it was her fault. Only the two of them know the truth for sure, And of course, God knows! I have heard numerous similar stories lately. I pray that both of these people can straighten their lives out and learn from mistakes, whatever they were. Truth is the best policy. At least then, you can sleep at night.

  7. Hoping for Justice on October 1st, 2010 4:36 am

    David Huie Green,

    Thank you so much for answering my questions!

    And you’re my comment hero, too…

    If we don’t like a law, we should write our reps to change it. There are several laws I think are outdated and/or stupid – but I don’t go around breaking them. And yes, I do email (and phone) my reps and the white house….and even get answers via email and the US mail from some of them.

  8. susuj on September 30th, 2010 10:36 pm

    This is a joke …he might of put the dogs out…but why did they wait over 1 year to arrest him on the girl charges…i see a PLEA BARGAIN OFFER its all about the money

  9. hey on September 30th, 2010 10:25 pm

    To really,
    what would you do if you found out that your underage daughter was having sex with a man in his late 20’s????????? He is the one who messed up his life. He knew this girl was a minor, and still chose to sleep with her. So what if she consented, he knew it was wrong!!!

  10. SW on September 30th, 2010 10:12 pm

    I didn’t think a 15 year old could ‘legally’ consent?

    Just wondering if the rules had changed.

  11. Really?? on September 30th, 2010 10:04 pm

    Don’t get me wrong, if he knew her age he was in the wrong. However, if she consented to the act and just felt bad afterward or her parents found out and got mad and wanted to play the blame game, then that’s wrong. The report said she was not forced. I think it’s terrible that the parents get mad at the guy. They decide to ruin somone’s life bc they are mad their daughter is trying to do grown up things. The girl probably got grounded for a while then it’s back to business as usual. This guy will have fines to pay, jail time to serve, and will have to register as a sex offender. Way to go parents, way to teach your children that when they make decisions you don’t like then it’s okay they will get off scott free while you just find someone to blame it on and ruin their life. It should be a crime if an underage person willingly sleeps with an adult. Sounds absurb but why let one party get off free? They wana act grown but they have no consequences to pay for their actions.

  12. SW on September 30th, 2010 9:59 pm


    What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

  13. nudo on September 30th, 2010 6:18 pm

    Of course he pleaded not guilty. He doesn’t think he did anything wrong nor does his lawyer. What a joke!

  14. AL on September 30th, 2010 6:16 pm

    To quote the great David H Green — REGARDING:
    (I had to … you’re my comment hero ;) )

    “”"The amazing part is you can’t say ” I didn’t know her age” or ” She lied about her age” Even if she did and even if you did not know, legally they won’t allow that as a defense. Which is absurd”"”

    If they allowed this defense you could say “I didn’t know a single gunshot would kill him” “I didn’t know drinking 2 beers would make me crash”
    I guess you COULD say it all you want… but it wouldn’t change the fact that you broke the law.

  15. David Huie Green on September 30th, 2010 5:51 pm

    “Will there be only 1 trial for all the charges. ”

    Most likely two, since the lady and the dogs were unrelated.

    David for proper division

  16. David Huie Green on September 30th, 2010 5:50 pm

    “Does anyone know what the Grand Theft is for?”

    Value of the dogs. A boxer is a valuable thing.

    David just answering question

  17. huh on September 30th, 2010 1:00 pm

    The amazing part is you can’t say ” I didn’t know her age” or ” She lied about her age” Even if she did and even if you did not know, legally they won’t allow that as a defense. Which is absurd

  18. Hoping for Justice on September 30th, 2010 12:22 pm

    Does anyone know what the Grand Theft is for?

    Will there be only 1 trial for all the charges. Maybe that’s why the county didn’t charge him when the parents of the 15 year old tried to get them to – they were waiting to rack up a bunch more charges and save the taxpayers money….

    I’ve known lots of people who put on a ‘Sunday’ face to the public but do bad things when they think no one will find out. It’s good to see one of them caught.

  19. aubrey king on September 30th, 2010 11:16 am

    14 year old girls do not look that old.He had to know she was underage and i say put him away if he is proven guity.

  20. barrineau on September 30th, 2010 10:37 am

    I kind of understand the dog thing, maybe he thought he was giving them a fighting chance. I know the pound will kill them after a period of time , if the owner does not show up. If the charges against him for sexually abusing the girl pan out to be true, then as a father of three girls, one who is 14 . By all means lock his butt up.There is no place for people like that in our society.

  21. omg! on September 30th, 2010 9:51 am

    Omg! This is my neighbor!

  22. hey on September 30th, 2010 9:21 am

    To question,

    This is a pretty small town, and he knew her age. I hope and pray he gets what he deserves.

  23. Big Big Sigh! on September 30th, 2010 8:43 am

    oh and as for the girl whats the difference. this guy was 28 and in a responsible
    possition. way old enough to take care of himself against a 15 year old girl.

    he should have known better you telling me at 28 you don’t know when to check their id.

  24. Big Big Sigh! on September 30th, 2010 8:40 am

    all the mighty are falling, they sure make all of them look bad lately
    i did what someone told me and started pulling up EMT, and all the
    county employee records that were available. it’s a shock to see so many people who put out a false face and do all the wrong things that show they are immature drunkards and that they break the law any time they want.

    Guess we need to check them harder when we hire them and even
    let them volunteer.

  25. shae on September 30th, 2010 8:27 am

    Unfortunately teens are sneaking out especially when both parents are working. This attitude of teens not caring is very popular. However, this doesn’t give adults the right to not behave morally. Would keep a lot of people out of trouble to develope some moral behavior.

  26. Oversight on September 30th, 2010 6:04 am

    He can’t hide behind his lawyer for ever and sooner rather than later he’ll have to show his face in public to face a judge and jury to respond to the charges.

  27. question on September 30th, 2010 5:51 am

    Where was mom and dad whem this was going on. A 15 year old should not be out with out family. Hope eit works out for both familys. Did dhe tell her family or did someone else. I knew Ryan all of his middle and high school life. He was a good child. I pray it works out for both families. Did she tell him she was older.