A 43-year-old Mississippi woman has been charged with bestiality.
Amy Nicole Graves was arrested on Feb. 21 and charged with having sex with a dog, reports the Daily Mail.
Video evidence had reportedly been uploaded to the internet. "We got some visual documentation off social media that led to a search warrant and arrest warrant," said Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel. It is not the first such case that Rigel has seen, though he declares that it is "very rare."
But that's not so according to Leighann Lassiter, the animal cruelty policy director at the Humane Society, reports The Guardian.
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"It is a very, very seedy world when it comes to animal sexual abuse and it is extremely common," she said. "There are people out there who train animals for sex. You can give them your dog and they will train your dog to have sex with a human and send it back to you. And they get paid for it."
She adds: "We've got cases of people grabbing birds and having sex with birds. And killing the birds. It is really really disturbing."
It is currently legal to have sex with animals in Vermont, Texas, West Virginia, Kentucky, Nevada, Hawaii, Wyoming, New Mexico and Ohio, and Washington, D.C., notes The Guardian.
Lassiter said states without bestiality laws usually have historical laws which included animal sex abuse as part of the prohibition of gay sex. And when those laws against gay sex were repealed, so was the prohibition against bestiality.
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But even in states where bestiality remains illegal, animal cruelty laws are often not enough to prevent people from sexually abusing animals, she explains, because a person might be prosecuted only if the animal is injured as a result of the sexual assault.
As for Graves, she faces the possibility of up to 10 years in prison and would be required to register as a sex offender, if convicted.