CLEVELAND – A man accused of performing a sex act on a dog has been charged under a new state law that criminalizes bestiality.
The law went into effect March 21 and makes sexual contact with an animal a misdemeanor offense that carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail upon conviction. Previously, animal cruelty laws applied, but Cleveland Animal Protection League president Sharon Harvey said those cases were difficult to prosecute because they required proof the animal suffered.
Cleveland.com reported Thursday that 47-year-old Scott Turner was charged with the misdemeanor. Turner was told to appear in court Oct. 5. Court records didn't list an attorney for him, and he doesn't have a publicly listed telephone number.
Turner told Cleveland Animal Protection League investigators he was caring for a woman's dog in May when he abused it, according to court records.
He previously served more than 12 years in prison for sex crimes involving children. He pleaded guilty to several counts including rape and kidnapping with sexual motivation, according to court records. He was released in 2015.
The Humane Society of the United States says bestiality has been criminalized everywhere in the U.S. except Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Kentucky, New Mexico, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Information from: cleveland.com, http://www.cleveland.com