Tuscaloosa AL March 5 2011 A Coker man charged with animal cruelty admitted that he sexually abused a dog, Sheriff Ted Sexton said today.
Three witnesses told deputies that they saw Samuel Earl Sims, 56, abusing the mixed-breed dog at a home on Hillview Lane around midnight Sunday.
“These witnesses happened to observe this by accident,” Sexton said. “They were shocked and appalled.”
Deputies had the same reaction. They were working Monday to upgrade the misdemeanor animal cruelty charge to a felony.
“We’re aggressively trying to seek more serious charges,” Sexton said.
There is not an anti-bestiality law in Alabama.
Deputies were not sure Monday whether the 40-pound dog, named “Lady”, has an owner.
“It seems that she’s a neighborhood dog. If someone claims her, she will be returned to the owner,” he said. Otherwise, she may be available for adoption.
Veterinarian Dr. Jimmy Canant examined the dog and found no serious injuries, Sexton said. He said that the dog has a good disposition and got along with other dogs at the vet’s office.
The sheriff did not provide further details about the situation. He said that Sims admitted his guilt.
“Our defendant did give a statement admitting to the allegation that he had sexual intercourse with the dog,” he said. “This is the first time in my career that I have heard of anyone doing this.”
Two deputies discussing the case in Sexton’s office Monday morning said that they had heard similar allegations in the past, but did not know of any cases where there was evidence or an arrest made.
He was charged with Class A and Class B misdemeanor animal cruelty charges. A judge will later drop one of the charges.
He remained in the Tuscaloosa County Jail Monday afternoon with bail set at $1,500.
Sexton said that he contacted a state legislator Monday to discuss the possibility of introducing anti-bestiality legislation.
Sims has been arrested in the past. In 1992 he plead guilty to an arson charge after setting fire in several trailers and a car at a mobile home park in Shelby County. The court file indicated that Sims cannot read or write and has a fifth-grade education. A probation officer wrote that he was “somewhat” mentally disabled.
A Conway, S.C., woman who had video surveillance of a man having sexual intercourse with one of her horses said she found the suspect behind her barn Monday night and pointed a shotgun at his head until police arrived and arrested him.
Rodell Vereen, 50, of Longs, is charged with buggery and trespassing after Barbara Kenley, who owns Lazy B Stables on Coates Road in the Wampee section of Horry County, told officers she had video of the suspect having sex with a horse then wanted to catch him at her barn.
“That stable was my getaway, my stress relief,” said Kenley, who has owned the stable for 20 years. “Everybody has a place they like to go to get away. Now it is totally destroyed. It is the only thing I have in life.”
A family member said Wednesday that Vereen was diagnosed with a “mental disease” more than 10 years ago.
“He’s supposed to be on medication but I don’t believe he’s been taking it,” said Beulah Vereen, also a neighbor. “He’s not a violent man, I know.”
It is the second time Vereen, who works for a landscaping company, has been charged with having sex with a horse at Lazy B Stables. Vereen pleaded guilty to buggery on July 21, 2008 and was sentenced to three years probation, ordered to undergo mental health counseling, and told not to go near Lazy B Stables after he was caught having sex with a horse on Thanksgiving Day of 2007, according to the 15th Judicial Circuit.
Vereen has also been registered as a sex offender since pleading to the buggery charge last year, according to the State Law Enforcement Division.
“I have a false sense of security right now,” Kenley said. “When they arrested him before I thought that was the end of it. Now all of my insecurities are back. I can’t go out there at certain times because I am afraid.”
Vereen will have a probation hearing at 9 a.m. Monday at J. Reuben Long Detention Center in Conway, according to Richard Laskill, a senior agent for the S.C. Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.
A judge will likely determine if Vereen will serve the remainder of his three-year suspended sentence for the 2007 buggery charge.
“Hopefully he won’t get out,” Kenley said. “My goal is to get him away from me and my property.”
Kenley, who lives four miles away from the stable, said she can’t afford a security system for the stables. She said she spent several hundred dollars on the video surveillance system that was used to help identify Vereen.
“In 20 years I’ve never had a problem like this,” Kenley said. “I never knew people did such a thing.”
Kenley said Vereen was having sex with a 21-year-old horse named Sugar. Kenley said the horse is being treated for infections related to the incidents.
Kenley told officers she had video of Vereen “having relations” with one of her horses on July 19, according to a police report. “I had given police surveillance video before and they weren’t able to identify him,” Kenley said. “And I wanted to catch him firsthand. It was just a matter of time before I caught him.”
On Monday night, Kenley said she went to check on the horses and saw an unknown vehicle parked near her property.
Kenley found Vereen behind a barn where the horses are kept and pointed a shotgun at him. Kenley called police on her cell phone and waited for officers to arrive.
“He was very subdued,” Kenley said. “He was like … cold. He may have been in shock.”
Kenley said she asked Vereen what he was doing at the barn and that he said he was looking for a bathroom.
“I told him he was full of crap,” Kenley said. “He apologized and said he didn’t mean to hurt me.”
Vereen admitted to officers that he did have “relations” with a horse on July 19, the report shows. Officers reported that they viewed a video showing the suspect having intercourse with a horse.
Bail was set at $10,000 for Vereen, who is being held at J. Reuben Long Detention Center
Follow Us On Twitter/privateofficer
Join Us At MySpace/privateofficernews
Join PRIVATE OFFICER