Anti-Bestiality Law, Ohio To Pass Statewide Bills

By Nethani Palmani | Apr 03, 2017 04:26 PM EDT

It's now illegal in Ohio for people to engage in sexual conduct with animals. The state didn't have anti-bestiality laws until the change took effect much recently. (Photo : Pool / Getty Images)

Salvador Rendon was arraigned last year on charges of engaging in sexual intercourse with dogs for years. Since then, animal-rights activists have descended to Warren, Ohio, to implore that the state needs an anti-bestiality law.

Rendon had been accused of having intercourse with two dogs, a male and a female boxer that belonged to his daughter, at least 10 times over six years. The judge called Rendon's actions "despicable and highly disturbing," according to WFMJ.

The case prompted Warren to pass Ohio's first anti-bestiality law, that imposes tougher penalties and no requirement to prove physical harm, with more dependence on witness testimony and forensic evidence. It helped the passing of anti-bestiality law statewide, effective this month.

However, 8 states and the District of Columbia are still in lack anti-bestiality law. Some states lifted earlier prohibitions on human-animal sexual intercourse when they were updating laws to delist sodomy as a crime.

The counts of arrest for animal sex abuse in the U.S. have risen dramatically since 2005, making the anti-bestiality law all the more urgent. Jenny Edwards, a criminologist in Washington said the rise of the problem is largely Internet-driven, according to WCPO.

Edwards' research done over a decade shows disturbing links between those who abuse animals, and those who abuse other children, women and other family members. In fact, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has singled out animal cruelty offenses in its national crime statistics for the first time last year to definitively quantify the problem, likewise the first step of pulling out anti-bestiality law.

Meanwhile, a Democrat Warren City Council member Helen Rucker is concerned that passing the state's anti-bestiality law would suggest the city had a widespread problem. Championed by a pair of Republican state senators, Ohio lawmakers hesitated to put their names on proposed bestiality bills until the latest bill.

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