Carlos Romero, 31, accused of having sex with his miniature donkey, Doodles, in Ocala, Florida, plans to take his case to trial after refusing a plea deal on Tuesday, October 9. Romero is facing a first-degree misdemeanor charge of cruelty to animals.
Sheriff’s deputies stated that on August 15, Romero was discovered in a “sexually compromising position” by the owner of the barn where he rents a space for Doodles. The man told deputies he walked by a tack room and saw Romero standing behind 21-month-old Doodles with his pants down.
Romero characterized his actions as “husbandry”--as what any farmer might do in caring for livestock, he told the court, according to Ocala.com.
Romero laterdenied doing anything sexual to Doodles, "because she's blooming into maturity" but said he eventuallywould. (Read:Donkey-Sex Suspect Carlos Romero Describes his Sexual Attraction to Horses.)http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/animal-rights/donkey-sex-suspect-carlos-romero-describes-sexual-attraction-horses
In court on Tuesday, Romero was offered a plea deal that included a $200 fine and one year of probation, if he pleaded guilty to the animal-cruelty charge. He would also have to undergo a psychosexual evaluation and HIV and STD testing, and not be allowed in any area with children or have any contact with mammals, according to Ocala.com.
“My major problem with what the prosecution is offering is the no contact with animals,” Romero said to County Judge Steven Rogers.
Romero told reporters after the hearing that the conditions of the deal were “too harsh” and that no contact with animals would leave him destitute. “Preventing me from going on a farm would destroy me,” he said, adding that it would leave him homeless and without any money. Romero said he now makes about $300 a week.
Judge Steven Rogers ruled that Romero does not meet the requirements for a court-appointed public defender because he has a full-time job and assets. Romero says he can’t afford to hire an attorney.
Ocala.com reports that Romero posted an open plea on Facebook for an attorney willing to take his case and said he will not give up.
He still longs for Doodles. “I just wish this case was over today so I could have her back,” he said. Romero said there was no evidence of pain and suffering done to the miniature donkey.When he was arrested last month, Romero offered avigorous defense of the right to have sex with animals, telling detectives that, “Florida is a backwards state and people frown on zoophilia here.”
Doodles is currently staying at the county’s animal shelter. A custody hearing is scheduled for Oct. 31 in Marion County court, in which the county is seeking legal custody of the donkey so it can put her up for adoption, said Elaine McClain, a county spokeswoman.
Romero told Deputies that he bought the miniature donkey from a man in Lake City and brought it to the farm in northwest Marion County a few months ago. He admitted he has had sex with horses since he was 18 and gets sexually aroused around animals more than humans and has masturbated with Doodles nearby.
“How can I give this up? The donkey was completely unharmed, healthy and happy with me.”
“The prosecutor wanted me to have no contact with mammals, and clearly that involves humans too,” Romero reportedly wrote on Facebook. “No public defender, when I live well under the poverty level? Farm work is seasonal, live-in, and involves animals, I’d be homeless, jobless and in immediate violation of probation.”