m jenny edwards


Bestiality and Zoophilia information & resources

Animal Sex Abuse and Recidivism

M Jenny Edwards

August, 2022

Recidivism is the tendency of a criminal to reoffend. A number of factors influence recidivism, but an offender's criminal history, age, and social network are what most conconsistently predict whether or not a person will reoffend.

Among animal sex abusers, other important factors are length of offending, relationship to the animal victim, and the offender's motivation. For example, offenders most like to reoffend are those who have their first sexual experience with an animal by the age of 13, who admit to having sex with multiple animals over time, and who express a sexual interest in animals. Offenders least likely to commit second or subsequent acts are those who act out of curiosity (e.g. after getting drunk at a party), or who have a neurological condition (e.g. brain anomoly or treatment for Parkinson's Disease).

Other factors that should be considered when evaluating the risk to offend include the level of violence, compulsion, or force used; and sexual offenses against children.  

Case examples include:

A Florida man trespassed onto neighbor's property 7 times, sexually assaulting multiple horses. After serving 2 years, he violated parole by returning to the same barn to sodomize another horse.

A Minnesota child sex offender returned to prison after raping an adult female. He had a lengthy history of arrests for bestiality and child sexual abuse.

A Kansas man with 27 prior convictions for sexual assault, began sexually abusing children and minros at age 15 and admitted to an undetected history of bestiality, including oral and anal sex acts, and penetration with an object.

A Wisconsin man with an extensive criminal history of sexual abuse of horses, resulting in significant injury or death of at least 7 horses, was repeatedly incarcerated or institutionalized. After his most recent release he returned to a barn to "test the waters and see if [his] old habits were still there".



Bestiality and zoophilia are widely misunderstood forms of sexual deviance


Animal sex abuse occurs all over the world and is often connected to other criminal behavior


Laws vary widely with penalties in the U.S. ranging from 30 days to 20 years


Research on this issue is growing, and consultation and specialized training are availble