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ALERT UPDATE: LRB 0164/1 IS NOW AB 152/SB 139 - PROTECTING ANIMALS OF WISCONSIN (PAW) ACT, TO MAKE SEXUAL ABUSE OF ANIMALS A FELONY SEX CRIME!

 

 pawprint bullet point   AB 152/SB 139 Text   pawprint bullet point   AB 152/SB 139 Bill History   pawprint bullet point   AB 152/SB 139 Summary   pawprint bullet point

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Eyes     On March 28th, 2019, WI state Senator André Jacque, along with Senators Risser, Cowles and Marklein, introduced "LRB 0164/1- Protecting Animals of Wisconsin (PAW) Act" in the WI State Senate. The bill, given the number SB 139, would not only make animal sexual abuse (bestiality) a felony, but also a sex crime -- and increase penalties for those caught engaging in this horrendous act of animal abuse. The bill was cosponsored by Representatives Wichgers, Brandtjen, Edming, James, Loudenbeck, Murphy, Myers, Skowronski, Subeck and C. Taylor. SB 139 was assigned to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety (of which Sen. Risser is a member and Sen. Jacque is Vice- Chair).

     On April 5th, 2019, the bill was introduced in the Assembly by Representatives Wichgers, Brandtjen, Edming, James, Loudenbeck, Murphy, Myers, Skowronski, Subeck and C. Taylor; and cosponsored by Senators Jacque, Risser, Cowles and Marklein. The Assembly bill is AB 152 and has been assigned to the Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety.

      As you may recall, a bill making animal sexual abuse a felony was defeated last year when it was not scheduled for a Senate vote in the 2017 - 2018 session. This actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise for WI animals, because the PAW Act is a much better, much stronger piece of legislation.

     In a memo to all members of the WI legislature, Sen. Jacque and Rep. Wichgers wrote:

     "We will be re-introducing legislation to more effectively address the crime of sexual contact with an animal by increasing the penalty to a felony, making it a sex crime, increasing penalties for repeat offenses, and making a technical change to the definition of sexual contact with an animal to prohibit perpetrators from using any body part or object on an animal for sexual gratification, not just their sex organ (closing a loophole that has unfortunately been exploited). These changes were drafted in consultation with and at the request of district attorneys, law enforcement agencies, farmers, and animal advocacy groups and passed Assembly and Senate committees last session unanimously, and the full State Assembly on a voice vote.

     "The sexual abuse of an animal can take many different forms, and be driven by any number of different motives-ranging from sexual gratification to financial gain. As with other forms of animal abuse, bestiality overlaps significantly with violence perpetrated against humans, including domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. A study of 44,000 adult sex offenders found that prior sexual abuse of animals is the number one behavioral predictor for sexual abuse of a child, and individuals who sexually abuse animals are very frequently violent, predatory sex offenders who share many common traits with pedophiles. Enabling the law to effectively intervene in cases of animal sexual abuse is likely to prevent future crimes against humans.

     "The bill's proposed felony penalty would appropriately prohibit the abuser from participating in certain state licensed programs such as the child foster network, operating a child care service, and driving a school bus. Sexual abuse of animals is currently a felony in twenty three states." [NOTE: Kentucky recently passed a new law making animal sexual abuse a Class D felony, raising that number to 24 states.)

Horse     Last year, the weakness of Wisconsin’s current law became the subject of national attention when a man named Sterling Rachwal, who has been sexually abusing Wisconsin animals for over 35 years, received a sentencing that was pitifully light and will do nothing to protect him from harming again. Since then, there have been several more cases in the news.

     The PAW Act is not pleasant reading. Even though animal sexual abuse is often the subject of jokes, most of us are disgusted, if not downright sickened, by the very idea of it actually taking place. The internet -- Craig's list and the like as well as dedicated bestiality forums and sites -- makes it easy to "hook up" to either procure or supply animals for sex and the reality is, literally thousands of Wisconsinites solicit or offer animals – of many different species -- for sex online every year. Shocked at the numbers? We were.

     This is a horrendous act of cruelty, frequently with the animal at the very least being restrained (or in some cases, muzzled and having its legs secured in unnatural positions to allow easy "access" and prevent the animal from fighting back or attempting escape). Victims can be crippled, maimed, or killed outright; they are often scarred for life, emotionally or physically. It's not unheard of for family pets to be sexually abused as acts of domestic violence.

     Abuse of animals is videoed/ filmed for those who enjoy bestiality pornography, and videos can also involve children. Many of the perpetrators go on to sexually abuse humans, and some studies suggest that animal sexual abuse is the single strongest predictor of increased risk for committing child sexual abuse.

     We are extremely grateful for the guidance of national expert on this topic, M. Jenny Edwards of Chandler Edwards, Inc. Please see additional research on this issue at Ms. Edwards website, Animal Sexual Abuse Information & Resources. Warning, this site contains GRAPHIC descriptive language and case studies.

 

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Bill Summary (by the Legislative Reference Bureau):

Sexual abuse of animals is no joke.     "Under this bill, it is a Class H felony to have sexual contact with an animal, to promote or otherwise participate in sexual contact with animals, to create, possess, or distribute obscene material depicting a person engaged in sexual contact with an animal, or to advertise, harbor, transport, provide, or obtain an animal for the purpose of having sexual contact with the animal. In addition, it is a Class F felony to force, coerce, entice, or encourage a child under the age of 13 to engage in sexual contact with an animal or a Class G felony if the child is over the age of 13 but under the age of 18. It is also a Class F felony to have sexual contact with an animal in the presence of a child under the age of 13 or a Class G felony if the child is over the age of 13 but under the age of 18. In addition, all felony classifications are increased for second or subsequent violations.

     "Under current law, it is a Class A misdemeanor for a person to commit an act of sexual gratification involving his or her sex organ and the sex organ, mouth, or anus of an animal, or involving his or her sex organ, mouth, anus, or other body part and the sex organ of an animal.

     "Under current law, a person may be required to register as a sex offender for certain crimes that are sexually motivated if the judge determines that it would be in the interest of public protection to have the person register. Under this bill, the new offense of bestiality would be subject to this provision.

     "Because this bill creates a new crime or revises a penalty for an existing crime, the Joint Review Committee on Criminal Penalties may be requested to prepare a report."

 

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WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Blue- eyed dog     THANK YOU, WI advocates! Your contact with Wisconsin legislators is paying off. The PAW Act is now officially introduced in both the WI State Assembly and Senate. The companion bills both have bipartisan support thanks to your outreach during the co-sponsorship phase. NOTE: Stay tuned for information on Public Hearings on this issue. At this time, we aren't calling for any specific action, although if you are in the districts represented by Senators Jacque, Risser, Cowles and Marklein and Representatives Wichgers, Brandtjen, Edming, James, Loudenbeck, Murphy, Myers, Skowronski, Subeck and C. Taylor, you might phone or email them THANKING THEM for cosponsoring AB 251/SB 139! (Click here to find your WI representatives ).

     General guidelines for contacting your representatives: Try to keep your message brief, and be sure to give your name, address, and phone number. Let your representative know that you are a constituent. Please, ALWAYS be polite and respectful. Name-calling, and rude or abusive letters or emails will hurt, rather than help, our cause.

  • At this time, we aren't calling for any specific action, although if you are in the districts represented by Senators Jacque, Risser, Cowles and Marklein and Representatives Wichgers, Brandtjen, Edming, James, Loudenbeck, Murphy, Myers, Skowronski, Subeck and C. Taylor, you might phone or email them THANKING THEM for cosponsoring S 139, "Protecting Animals of Wisconsin (PAW) Act", which would make animal sexual abuse a felony and a sex crime, and letting them know again that you whole-heartedly suppor this legislation..

  • If you want to give reasons for your position, please see our Talking Points below!

  • Also, please post your thanks on your Representative's and Senator's Facebook pages!

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Talking Points:

  • His eyes are on you.Besitality, Animal sexual abuse -- let's call it what it is, Animal RAPE -- is no joking matter. Literally thousands of Wisconsinites solicit or offer animals – of many different species -- for sex online every year.

  • Animals are trafficked, sold, and traded for sex and frequently used in the pornography industry. Trafficking animals for sex is not currently against the law in Wisconsin.

  • Animal victims are often crippled, maimed, or scarred for life, emotionally or physically. Some die from their abuse -- or are killed outright as a part of the act.

  • Currently, Wisconsin’s animal cruelty law only applies in cases where there is provable physical injury to the animal. Many acts of animal sexual abuse are filmed and discovered well after the incident occurs, so the requisite animal or medical evidence to substantiate physical injury cannot be recovered.

  • The new law will increase the penalty to a felony, make it a sex crime, increase penalties for repeat offenses, and tighten up the definition of sexual contact with an animal. Those convicted will also have to register as sex offenders.

  • Animal rape, like rape of a human, is all about violence, control and exploitation. In addition to those who just enjoy sex with animals, animal sexual abuse can also be a component in domestic violence and child abuse.

  • As with other forms of animal abuse, animal rape overlaps significantly with violence perpetrated against humans, including domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse -- individuals who sexually abuse animals are very frequently violent, predatory sex offenders who share many common traits with pedophiles.

  • Some studies show that animal sexual abuse is the single strongest predictor of increased risk for committing child sexual abuse.

  • IN THE NEWS in Wisconsin (and elsewhere):

    • The weakness of Wisconsin’s current law became the subject of national attention last year, when a man named Sterling Rachwal, who has been sexually abusing Wisconsin animals for over 35 years, received a sentencing that was pitifully light and will do nothing to protect him from harming again. For more on this case, please click here. For Mr. Rachwal's sentencing, please click here.

    • In September, 2018: an investigation of child pornography uncovered videos of a WI woman performing sexual acts with a dog at the kennel where she worked. For more information, please see: Franklin woman charged with performing sexual acts with dog at Waukesha County kennel.

    • On March 1, 2019, news broke that when investigating a child pornography case in Sauk Co., WI, police also found videos of a young girl performing sex acts on a dog, and a man instructing a dog to perform sex acts on a young girl. For more information, please see: Court documents say graphic child porn found on Sauk County board member's computer.

    • On March 14, 2019, ABC affiilate WAOW TV reported that 19-year-old Dyllon R.T. Lazic, in Waupaca Co., WI,has been charged with multiple child sex assault counts. A victim states that he also witnessed the accused having sex with a dog, and child pornography, including sex with animals, was found on his cell phone. Police in Manawa look for more victims in child sex assault case.

    • On March 15, 2019, the Dayton Daily News reported that Former Oakwood, OH, Public Safety Director Alex Bebris, now living in Wisconsin, is facing trial on child pornography charges. Court records show that found on his computer were" images of boys and girls appearing to range in age from 1 to 10, some engaged in sexual activity, along with images of bestiality." Ex-Oakwood public safety director gets new trial date in child porn case.

    • April 8, 2019: The Oregonian reported the case of a 52-year-old Portland, OR, man who admitted to raping his fiancee’s dog, a Lhasa Apso mix. He was sentenced to three years of probation and 60 days in jail (with credit for time served) -- the most Oregon sentencing guidelines allow. Man who raped fiancee’s dog gets 60 days in jail: Judge wishes he could’ve given him more.

    • National news, 2019: In Defense of Animals reported a case Louisiana in which judge delivered a shockingly weak sentence for a former shelter employee and his female coworker who sexually abused his dog to produce a bestiality video. Sentences of prison time with hard labor were both suspended for probation. Demand Harsher Sentences: Sexual Abusers of Dog Walk Free.

    • April 29, 2019: Petoskey News in Petoskey, MI, reported that a woman installed a trail cam in her bedroom because she thought the 19-year-old man she was renting a room to was going through her things. What she saw when she looked at the camera's memory card was the man sexually assaulting her dog. When confronted by police, he admitted it. Man facing criminal charges amid bestiality allegations.

  • Since some studies have found high rates of sexual assault of animals in the backgrounds of serial sexual homicide perpetrators, bestiality and other forms of animal cruelty are now tracked by the FBI as a Group A offense in the National Incident Based Reporting System, in the same category as rape and murder. Establishing animal sexual abuse as a separate crime allows law enforcement to identify potentially dangerous sexual predators in their community.

  • For more case studies, please see M. Jenny Edwards' website, Animal Sexual Abuse Information & Resources. Ms Edwards, of Chandler Edwards, Inc, is a national expert on this topic. Warning, this site contains GRAPHIC descriptive language and case studies.

In his eyes, you are the world.


 pawprint bullet point   AB 152/SB 139 Text   pawprint bullet point   AB 152/SB 139 Bill History   pawprint bullet point   AB 152/SB 139 Summary   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point  TAKE ACTION    pawprint bullet point   Talking Points   pawprint bullet point   In the News in WI   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   Find your WI State Representatives   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   What To Expect At A Public Hearing   pawprint bullet point

 

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