A South Carolina man was sentenced to three years in prison after he pleaded guilty to having sex with a horse. He was caught on video tape.
According to the Associated Press, Rodell Vereen, 50, was also ordered by the judge Wednesday to undergo mental health treatment once he is released and never to go near the stable.
The horse's owner Barbara Kenley caught him over the summer entering the barn and held him for authorities at shotgun point.
In addition, Judge Larry Hyman sentenced Vereen to three years in prison for violating his probation relating to another buggery charge from a 2007 (with the same horse).
The sentences will run concurrently.
Kenley told police she caught Vereen having sex with a 21-year-old female horse named Sugar. She set up a surveillance camera and videotaped Vereen's assault on her horse.
As a result, Kenley's horse was acting strange and getting infections.
In an interview with the The Sun News of Myrtle Beach, Kenley said dealing with the incident has been stressful.
"I've been through hell for the last year and it's caused a lot of hardship," Kenley said. "There's a lot of ridicule and jokes going around about this thing. And a person can only take so much."
The thought of humans having sex with animals should truly be a no-brainer. But in some states bestiality is hard to prosecute because there is not a law specific to sexual assault of an animal.
While over 30 states have laws against bestiality, approximately 15 still do not. Prosecutors in those states often have to argue the cases under animal cruelty statutes.
This New Jersey case is an example. Somehow the judge thought there was insufficient evidence that sexually molesting cows constituted tormenting them. He dismissed animal cruelty charges.
In Tennessee, police have urged lawmakers put bestiality laws on the books to make it a felony. Recently, two men and a woman in Tennessee were charged with performing sex acts with horses and a dog.
Washington State is considering a new law that would add bestiality offenses to the sexual offender registry, and authorities said they would like to see a similar law in Tennessee.
The recent Tennessee cases are the first prosecutions under their bestiality law, which makes it a felony to:
- Participate in sexual activity with an animal;
- Help someone else engage in sexual activity with an animal;
- Allow such activity to happen on your property;
- Take or possess videos or photos of such activities;
- Or to promote, organize or advertise such behavior.
The law has exceptions for activities involved in commercial animal husbandry.
So, is justice for Sugar, the 21-year-old mare sweet?
Kenley told the Sun News Myrtle Beach paper that she was mostly happy with the verdict, but wished Vereen had received more prison time.
Since pleading to the buggery charge last year, Vereen has become registered as a sex offender, according to the State Law Enforcement Division.
- Why is Bestiality So Hard to Prosecute? (Opposing Views)
- South Carolina Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws (FindLaw)
- States Considering Bestiality Laws (ohmygov.com)
- Oregon Senate Passes Bestiality Measure (KATU, Portland)
- Classifications of Crimes (provided by Escobar, Ramirez & Associates)
- Sex Offenses Overview (provided by David T. Schlendorf Law Offices)