A suburban Chicago man is in court today facing charges he raped a female dog, facing up to nine years in prison and $75,000 in fines if convicted.

Daniel Joyner of Elburn, Ill., was arrested in the town of Geneva last month, after allegedly sodomizing the pit bull-boxer mix with a bottle before having sex with the animal himself.

“Anyone capable of this kind of cruelty poses a definitive risk, not just to animals, but to fellow human beings,” said Martin Mersereau, spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

“Disregard for the suffering of animals should be viewed as a red flag, because people who abuse animals rarely do so only once and will often move on to abuse their fellow human beings. Studies show that offenders who commit bestiality often go on to commit sex crimes against humans.”

Mersereau has written Kane County prosecutor Debra Bree, urging a vigorous prosecution on the felony charges of engaging in sexual conduct with an animal.

“Upon conviction and in addition to the nine years of incarceration he would thus face,” Mersereau wrote, “we ask that Daniel Joyner be required to undergo a thorough psychological evaluation followed by mandatory counseling at his expense – the safety of the community may depend on it.”

“We prosecute every case vigorously,” Bree told the Aurora Beacon News. “This case will be no exception. We feel this is a very serious crime, which is why we created a whole task force for crimes of this nature.”

Joyner faces one to three years in prison and fines up to $25,000 if convicted on each of three charges.

The dog, which suffered physical injury during the attack, is reportedly recovering in its owner’s care.

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