Convicted sex offender Kurtis Peter Peterson, 37, accused of repeatedly having intercourse with his Pit Bull and Blue Heeler at his Muskegon apartment, was sentenced on Monday to anywhere from one to 15 years in state prison.
Judge Timothy Hicks said he was going above state sentencing guidelines to keep the repeat offender in a controlled environment. State guidelines would have limited Peterson’s sentence to county jail, plus probation. Since he already served 321 days awaiting trial, he would have been released almost immediately.
Peterson pleaded no contest last March to bestiality and was charged as a fourth-time habitual offender. Court records show he was also convicted of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in 1996 in Allegan County, and in 2010 for carrying a concealed weapon and making a false report of a felony, the Daily Mail reports.
Although Peterson's attorney, Belinda Barbier, told the court that Peterson has serious mental health issues, experts at the Michigan Center for Forensic Psychiatry examined Peterson earlier and determined that he was sane while sexually abusing the animals.
The first incident of Peterson raping his two pet dogs took place in April 2010, when an eyewitness testified that she and a friend stopped by to return car keys they borrowed from his roommate and caught Peterson kneeling naked behind his Blue Heeler on his bed, having sex with the pet, per MLive.com.
Then in June, the same witness, Joyce Yeaw, said she walked into his apartment and found him again naked and this time apparently having sex with his white Pit Bull on the living room floor. Peterson was arrested shortly afterward.
At the preliminary hearing on the April incident, Yeaw said Peterson told her he was 'just hugging his dog.' She testified that she called 911, but he was not arrested until June.
"He was having sex with the dog," Yeaw told the court at the April hearing. "It was disgusting."
Muskegon police detective Peter Boterenbrood said that Peterson told him after the June incident that he was 'just playing with the dog' in April, but he became sexually aroused from accidental contact with the animal's rear.