Animal Sexual Abuse Information & Resources

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M Jenny Edwards

SME, Animal Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

BESTIALITY - No visible evidence of injury

Description:  Often charged as Animal Cruelty when there's no anti-bestiality law in the jurisdiction where act occurred; may also be charged as part of a plea bargain in states where bestiality law exists. Offender may have a preoccupation with sex or sexual contact with animals.  

Linked Crimes: Trespass, illegal possesion of weapons, possession of illegal substances, sexual deviance, DUI

Case Example

Plea Deal for Sex with Baby Calves

SOUTH DAKOTA - January 10, 2019

In July 2017, James Schumacher, 56 was arrested at a South Dakota farm after being caught having sex with a 4-week-old baby calf on multiple occasions.  This was the second besitliaty arrest for Schumacher, who had sex with another calf in 2016. Schumacher was charged with six counts of bestiality, but in February 2018, Schumacher argued the charges were unconstitutional because an animal is considered personal property in South Dakota and having sex with animals was his 14th Amendment right to intimacy. The Judge dismissed that argument, saying the cases cited in Schumacher's motion related to sex acts or marriage between same-gender partners, and then allowed Schumacher to plead to two counts of bestiality, dismissing the other four.  

In South Dakota, bestiality is a felony punishable to a maximum of two years in prison and a $4,000 fine (per count). Schumacher ultimately received 60 days in jail, and placed on probation for five years. He was ordered to undergo a psychosexual evaluation (at a cost to him of $2,100), and pay $726 as restitution for veterinary bills and $808 in fines and court costs. Schumacher's attorney said his client has had trouble finding work. Meanwhile, the owner of the sexually abused cows now says she feels unsafe in her own home.

This case is important on several levels. First because barely half of the U.S. states consider bestiality a felony crime - despite the fact that it often involves trespass, injury, and rape. Second, it establishes that even in a state where animals are still considered property, sexual abuse of that property is not allowed. Third, barely 29% of all animal sex abusers are convicted, with about half of them spending a year or less in jail.

There are still five U.S. states without laws prohibiting a person from having sex with an animal: Hawaii, Kentucky, Montana, West Virginia, and Wyoming. For the third time, a bill has been introduced in Kentucky that would make bestiality illegal in that state. We applaud South Dakota for enforcing its strict laws, and Kentucky for taking steps to demonstrate they take sexual abuse of animals seriously.

Four men arrested in conjunction with construction site robberies

ARIZONA - August 14, 2018

During an investigation into organized crime in southern Arizona, three men were arrested for auto theft and stealing equipment and supplies from area construction sites. Jacob Blatchford, 37 - the ring leader - was also charged with bestiality after being caught on aerial surveillance trespassing on a local ranch at 1:00 in the morning. Blatchford climbed over the fence, caught one of the horses with a lead rope, and then penetrated the small pony from the rear for several minutes. He was arrested and charged with 3rd degree burglary and bestiality.


AGGRAVATED BESTIALITY - Physical injury or death, repeated sexual assault

Description:  Knowing or intentional infliction of pain, injury, torture, mutilation, or death of an animal with sexual intent or motivation. Includes forceful penetration with object or body part.  May be ritualistic.  Offender may have a preoccupation with sex or sexual contact with animals.  

Linked Crimes: Domestic violence, aggravated assault,  rape, sexual assault.  

Case Examples

Repeat animal sex offender rapes neighbor's cat

October 26, 2018 | UPDATED October 29, 2018

SOUTH AFRICA - Durban police arrested a man covered in cat hair on Friday after the cat's owner discovered her neighbor holding her cat by the back legs and sexually penetrating it. The man has previously been caught sexually assaulting a dog and other cats. Charges will  not be filed until the cat has been examined by a veterinarian.

This is not an isolated incident of cat rape. A 35 year-old Wisconsin man was convicted for animal torture and sodomizing a dead cat. A 48-year-old woman in Virginia with a life-long history of animal sexual abuse of both dogs and cats was convicted for sexual battery of minors. A 28 year-old Idaho man was arrested after sexually abusing a friend's cat at least six times.

Cats often do not survive sexual assault, yet offenders are often given only minimal sentences. Our research indicates that the convicttion rate for all animal sex abuse cases is about 29%, with most offenders receiving jail time of less than two years.

Three men arrested for having repeated sex with multiple animals

August 23, 2018

PENNSYLVANIA, USA - Matthew Brubaker, 31, Marc Measnikoff, 34, and Terry Wallace, 41 were arrested after an investigation was prompted by a Child Advocate's report. A 16-year-old boy told the Advocate about the squalid conditions on a makeshift farm where he had been living for the past four or five years. He related there was no electricity or running water and he had to collect rainwater in order to bathe. There was seldom enough food to eat.

But it wasn't those living conditions that worried him – it was the fact that he had been repeatedly exposed to Brubaker, Measnikoff, and Wallace having sex with one or more of the animals that also lived on the property - 18 dogs, 13 horses, a goat, and a cow - on a daily basis. The men used a V-shaped stock chute to restrain the larger animals, but It was the boy's job to restrain the dogs or smaller animals while the three men took turns having sex with them.  

Wallace preferred to have sex with the dogs, but also had sex with all the other animals several times. Brubaker preferred the horses, and admitted to having sex with all 11 mares on the property, as well as the goat, the cow, and his dog. Measnikoff had sex with the horses, the goat, and the cow several times a week, but declined to do the dogs.

All the animals have been removed from the property, and a search warrant for electronic devices has been executed. In addition, officers recovered several semi-automatic weapons..

The men have been charged with felony endangerment of a child, felony corruption of a minor, and 1,460 misdemeanor counts of bestiality and animal cruelty. Under Pennsylvania's bestiality law, the judge could order the defendants to serve 2 years in jail on each count.

UPDATE: Bail was initially set at $100,000 for each man. Bail for Wallace and Measnikoff has been reduced to $75,000; Brubaker's bail remains at $100,000. None have yet posted a bond and are all being detailed at the Clearfield County, jail in Pennsylvania.

Vets say dog sexually assaulted with broom is one of the 'worst cases of abuse ever seen'

June 22nd 2017  - by RYAN HUGHES AND MICHELLE MANZIONE, ABC7 Thursday,

ARLINGTON, Va. (ABC7) — A beagle and basset hound mix was sexually assaulted so severely, vets with the Homeward Trails Animal Rescue are calling it one of the worst cases of abuse they’ve ever seen. An X-Ray revealed that the dog had been sexually assaulted with a broom, and part of the handled lodged in her colon. Officials are still looking for the perpetrator, and a reward is offered for information leading to a conviction. If you have information, please contact the Isle of Wight County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigator Donald Edwards at 757-365-6330 or

Based on the most recent research, arrests for bestiality-related incidents are on the rise. More than half (51%) of all animal sex abuse offenders have a prior criminal history. About 10% of animal sex abusers are repeat offenders.

M. Jenny Edwards (2018) Arrest and prosecution of animal se abuse (bestiality) offenders in the USA, 1975-2015. Manuscript under peer review.


Case Summaries - ANIMAL SEX ABUSE, Direct Contact

The men were living in truck campers in squalid conditions in rural Pennsylvania. PHOTO by Channel 6 News crew