Florida prosecutors have increased the charges against a blind man who is accused of raping his own guide dog.
The change from misdemeanor to felony status came after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals urged state officials to use a more serious rule, even though the Sunshine State has no law prohibiting sex with animals.
As WND previously reported, Alan Yoder, 29, was originally charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct, specifically a “breach of the peace, by engaging in sexual activity with a guide dog.”
But Assistant State Attorney Phil Smith said new witnesses have come forward, justifying felony charges of animal cruelty and injuring a guide dog, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
“Enhancing the charges does not change the fact that Mr. Yoder is innocent,” James Varnado, Yoder’s attorney, told the paper.
PETA had sent an urgent plea to Assistant State Attorney Owen McCaul, urging him to throw the book at the Tallahassee resident.
According to PETA, Yoder allegedly invited a woman to join him in the act. Tallahassee police report Yoder admitted to performing sex acts on the animal and willingly gave up the animal before charges were adjudicated.
“Studies show that offenders who commit bestiality often go on to commit sex crimes against humans,” said PETA Casework Division Manager Martin Mersereau. “The community should follow this case closely because anyone capable of this kind of cruelty poses a definitive risk, not just to animals, but to fellow human beings.”
PETA is asking that if convicted, Yoder be prohibited from owning or harboring animals, and that authorities seize any other animals currently in his custody. PETA is also asking Yoder be required to undergo a thorough psychological evaluation followed by mandatory counseling.
Stacy Cintron adopted Labrador dog after it was allegedly raped
The dog, a 70-pound yellow Labrador named Lucky, has since been adopted out to Stacy Cintron, 22, a recent graduate of Florida State University.
Cintron, the Tallahassee paper reported, learned of the dog’s plight through her boss, the wife of a local policeman.
“She said, ‘We have to save this dog,'” Cintron told the paper. “So we went to take a look at him. He seemed so sad, but as soon as he got on a leash he was excited and bouncy and ready to get out of there.”