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Week of 4/3/2017

Week of 4/3/2017

Salvador Rendon during sentencing (WKBN)

It just goes to show how quickly state legislators can begin to seriously consider the impact of animal rape. In Ohio, all it took was one widely publicized travesty of law that compelled a city to enact an ordinance. And in less than a year, bestiality was banned statewide, albeit at a substantial cost.

This week’s must-read list starts with Julie Carr Smyth’s illuminating bestiality law piece in the Herald Leader. Before animal rape became illegal throughout Ohio, it was first outlawed in the city of Warren. That’s where (in 2016) one Salvador Rendon was sentenced to 12 days in jail plus time served for multiple counts of raping his daughter’s dogs. The judge who sentenced Rendon would have delivered a more serious penalty, but the lack of any bestiality statute in Ohio law prevented prosecutors from charging the offender with anything more than misdemeanor animal cruelty. And that was only because they had proof Rendon had injured at least one of the animals. This sparked local outrage that resulted in a citywide bestiality ban. And after countless years making no headway in Columbus, anti-bestiality activists later persuaded state legislators to follow Warren’s lead.

Tuesday evening in Austin, theSenate Criminal Justice Committee voted up the Senate counterpart of House Bill 1087. This means Texas is still moving toward outlawing bestiality. HB 1087 would punish participation, promotion or observation of bestiality with up to two years in jail.  Serious bodily injury or death resulting from sexual assault would make the offense a third degree felony. This bill continues to gain traction as Texas legislators seek more effective ways to protect children and other vulnerable people from sexual predators.