Prosecution of a Douglas County case involving alleged sexual contact with a dead deer may hinge on the legal definition of the word “animal.”
Bryan James Hathaway, 20, of Superior faces a misdemeanor charge of sexual gratification with an animal. He is accused of having sex with a dead deer he saw beside Stinson Avenue on Oct. 11.
A motion filed last week by his attorney, public defender Fredric Anderson, argued that because the deer was dead, it was not considered an animal and the charge should be dismissed.
“The statute does not prohibit one from having sex with a carcass,” Anderson wrote.
Judge Michael Lucci heard the motion Tuesday.
“I’m a little surprised this issue hasn’t been tackled before in another case,” Lucci said.
The Webster’s dictionary defines “animal” as “any of a kingdom of living beings,” Anderson said. If you include carcasses in that definition, he said, “you really go down a slippery slope with absurd results.”
When a person’s pet dog dies, he told Lucci, the person still refers to the dog as his or her dog, not a carcass.
“It stays a dog for some time,” Boughner said.
He referred to the criminal complaint, in which Hathaway told police he saw the dead deer in the ditch and moved it into the woods. Hathaway called it a dead deer, Boughner said, not a carcass.
“It did not lose its essence as a deer, an animal, when it died,” he said.
Anderson argued that the statute, which falls under the heading “crimes against sexual morality,” was meant to protect animals. That would be unnecessary in the case of a dead animal.
“If you look at the other crimes that are in this subsection, they all protect against something other than simply things we don’t like or things we find disgusting,” he said.
Other crimes in that subsection include incest, bigamy, public fornication and lewd and lascivious behavior.
Boughner said the focus of the statute was on punishing the human behavior, not protecting animals.
“It does not seem to draw a line between the living and the dead,” he said.
Interpreting the statute to exclude dead animals would also exclude freshly killed animals, Boughner said. That, he said, could lead to people who commit such acts with animals to kill them.
Lucci said he would render a decision by Hathaway’s next court appearance on Dec. 1.
The misdemeanor charge carries a maximum penalty of nine months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. If convicted, Hathaway could serve a prison term of up to two years because of a previous conviction. In April 2005, Hathaway pleaded no contest to one felony charge of mistreatment of an animal for the shooting death of Bambrick, a 26-year-old horse, to have sex with the animal.
there are so many things wrong here its hard for me to get all my thoughts straight. why would you even want to go to court. once your caught wouldnt you beg the cops to shoot you and bury you and not tell anyone what you were doing? wouldnt you beg the cops to charge you with something less offensive...say like pedophilia? you can just imagine him saying " look shoot me guys and tell them i killed a kid, please". and how hard does his lawyer have to bite his lip not to laugh while using the carcass defense while his client sits there acting all righteous. what lawyer would want this case. how bad do you want money to defend this piece of shit. i hope his lawyer is like lionel hutz on the simpsons.....
Lionel Hutz: Well, the judge kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."
i think if this lawyer gets him off he should have to live in the lawyers house for one year. i'm sure when he comes home and this guy has killed his kid and is having sex with it he can refer to his child as the carcass. this wasnt a one time thing. read the last sentence. he killed a horse before to have sex with it. i guess a dead horse doesnt complain.
AND IN A RELATED STORY......
Pop singer Britney Spears' estranged hubby Kevin Federline has reportedly threatened to go public with the couples honeymoon sex tapes if she fails to make a hefty payout to him and hand custody of their two sons. Britney fears the raunchy footage will destroy her wholesome image unless she caves in to his demands for a £16million payoff and custody of their children Sean Preston, one, and Jayden James, eight weeks.
i'm not sure that i wouldnt rather see the movie of the guy having sex with the dead deer. this guy signed, what everyone is reporting, to be a bulleet proof pre-nup with brit. hes going to walk away with about 300k. that might seem like alot to you and i but to a guy whos , reportedly, gone through 30 million of brits money in two years.....that aint enough. good luck kevin, your fifteen minutes of fame is down to about two.
ok everyone. i'm leanin' heavy on the end of the week. enjoy your weekend.