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Man Gets 10 Years for Chihuahua Sex Assault

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on December 29, 2011 9:05 AM

Sacramento man Robert DeShields, 55, was convicted of Chihuahua sex assault. He was sentenced last week to 10 years in prison. A judge also mandated he register as a sex offender.

DeShields is a chronic methamphetamine user. He is wheelchair bound. The owner of the dog had given him a temporary place to stay. That's when the animal abuse occurred.

DeShields strangled and penetrated the dog, named Shadow, with a foreign object. The dog required surgery. Shadow recovered, and now lives in a foster home. The Chihuahua remains fearful of men, reports the Sacramento Bee. DeShields was arrested after the dog owner made a report to police.

Registering as a sex offender over a case that doesn't involve another human is rare. This was likely the first time Jessica's Law was applied to a case involving animals, according to a county prosecutor.

Jessica's Law, along with Megan's Law, are both meant to protect the general population from sex offenders.

Jessica's Law, or Proposition 83, was passed into California law in 2006. It regulates where sex offenders can live. It also gives the state the ability to track and apprehend offenders. Under Jessica's Law, sex offenders cannot live within 2,000 feet of parks and schools. They also face other restrictions.

Megan's Law mandates that sex offenders' addresses information be made open to the public. In California, a searchable database of sex offenders' addresses is located online.

After Robert DeShields registers over the Chihuahua sex assault, he will be subject to the requirements of Jessica's Law. He will be forced to wear a tracking device. He also cannot live near schools. DeShields' defense attorney said she would appeal the case.

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