Bestiality: our best kept secret
Tuesday, March 7, 2023 1:11 PM
Bestiality - our best-kept secret
January 31, 2023
No one really knows how often people have sex with animals, or the true impact it has on victims or our comunities. But what we do know i number of bestiality-related arrests is rising each year, and the level of violence also seems to be increasing.
In 2019 I published an in-depth report on the impact of bestiality in the United States over a 40-year period. An unsurprising finding was that as jurisdictions implemented enforceable laws, the number of arrests increased. A surprising finding was the number of female offenders - many of whom sexually abuse their own children or act in concert with a male offender to film the sexual abuse of animals and/or children. An alarming finding was that nearly two-thirds of animal sex abusers also sexually abuse children, solicit minors to commit sex acts with their own pets, and collect images of animal and child pornography.
The range of criminal and antisocial behavior among animal sex offenders is disturbing, and may actually be getting worse. In the past three months alone, a 19-year-old man in Kentucky held a minor hostage overnight. He raped and sodomized her and then repeated that act with his dog. A 23-year-old man in Louisiana orally sodomized a dog tethered outside his apartment building. A 19-year-old man in Texas threatened a mass shooting at a local bar and posted videos of himself sexually abusing a dog and burying a cat that appeared to have been tortured. During a child porn investigation in Texas, a 31-year-old male admitted to sexual contact with a younger sibling. Among his pornography collection were 87 videos of him having sex with his dog. A 37-year-old Florida man was arrested for having sex with his dog in front of a child. A 48-year-old man in Minnesota paid a minor to film herself having sex with a dog while he masturbated. In Ohio, a 32-year-old female and a 25-year-old male were arrested in connection with an international investigation into "animal crushing" after dozens of videos surfaced of the beating and torture of multiple animals, including the Ohio man raping a dog with a knife, and then cutting out its tongue while it was still breathing.
If you are an enforcement officer reading this, I urge you to take reports of suspected animal sex abuse seriously, and to investigate the reports fully. If you are a legislator, I encourage you to create or enhance laws that make ANY act of animal sex abuse - including the filming, distribution, or possession of animal pornography - a felony crime. If you are a prosecutor, I urge you to always charge for bestiality-related acts even when more "winnable" crimes such as child pornography or abuse may seem primary.
We may not know how often bestiality really happens, but what we do know is that it's a serious crime with widespread impact. The better informed we are, the better we will be at responding or even preventing abuse and violence.