2004-04-15 Du surci pour du sexe avec un chien (EN)

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Man gets probation, psychological testing for sex abuse of dog

Ocala Star Banner ^ | April 15. 2004

OCALA - An Ocala man faces five years of probation for having sex with his pregnant fiancee's dog. Randol Corey Mitchell, 27, pleaded no contest Wednesday to one count of felony animal cruelty. Circuit Judge Victor J. Musleh withheld adjudication and sentenced Mitchell to five years of probation and a mandatory psychological evaluation. He also prohibited Mitchell from owning pets of any kind while on probation and from having unsupervised contact with other people's pets.

"This is very disgusting, to tell you the truth," Musleh told Mitchell. "But I'm going to leave out my personal opinions and withhold adjudication unless you mess up."

Prosecutor Lori Henry sought sex offender sanctions against Mitchell, saying she was concerned Mitchell might try to commit sex crimes against human victims.

"I wish we could classify him as a sex offender," Henry said after the hearing. "I wish that he would have to register as a sex offender."

Sheriff's deputies arrested Mitchell in February after his then-fiancee reported that she had caught Mitchell having sex with her 1-year-old female Rottweiler named Nagaisha. Marion County Sheriff's Office reports indicate Mitchell told deputies this is a "life-long problem" he has had.

A veterinary examination later showed injury to the dog and that the animal appeared to be frightened, Henry said.

Due to the peculiar nature of the case, the Star-Banner is withholding the name of Mitchell's ex-fiancee to protect her privacy. The woman is due to give birth to Mitchell's child soon and could not be present at Wednesday's hearing because she had a doctor's appointment, Henry said.

Although they are no longer a couple, the woman wanted Mitchell to have psychological treatment, Henry said.

Psychologist Louis Legum testified at Wednesday's hearing and "strongly recommended" that Musleh order Mitchell to undergo a sex-offender-specific psychological examination.

"People's sexual behavior is learned behavior," Legum said. "It's not easy in the same way that crack cocaine or alcohol is easy to give up. . . . Meaningful therapeutic intervention has to be directed toward the behavior itself."

Under questioning by Mitchell lawyer Bobby Rumalla, Legum was careful to note that there was no indication Mitchell would become a sex offender without treatment.

"I'm not suggesting that your client is necessarily an undiagnosed pedophile or a mad-dog rapist," Legum said. "I'm sure that your client would want to get control over this behavior."

Musleh agreed Mitchell needed psychological evaluation.

"He certainly needs some psychological," the judge said. "For somebody to do something like this, they gotta have something wrong with them."

Musleh also noted there was no evidence Mitchell had ever committed any sexual offense against a person.

In addition to the probation and psychological evaluation, Musleh ordered Mitchell to pay restitution to the dog's owner for any necessary veterinary treatment and prohibited Mitchell from possessing pornography of any kind.

Both Mitchell and Rumalla declined to comment on the case.

"You're not gonna get any statements from us," Rumalla said before the hearing started.