August 23, 2007
I am not making this one up
There's a wonderful coffee shop here in Macon called Joshua's Cup, and I try to get a cup of coffee there before classes to wake up. This morning, I picked up the creamer, and there was a newspaper article clipped out, underneath it, dated November 16, 2006. I don't know which paper it's from. The headline: "Dear assault case has unusual issues." Warning that, although it's statutory interpretation, it's also gross. The story read:
Prosecution of a case involving alleged sexual contact with a dead deer may hinge on the legal definition of the word "animal."
Bryan James Hathaway, 20, of Superior Wis., faces a misdemeanor charge of sexual gratification with an animal. He is accused of having sex with a dead deer he saw beside the road on October 11.
A motion filed last week by his attorney, public defender Fredric Anderson, argued that since the deer was dead, it was not considered an animal and the charge should be dismissed.
"The statute does not prohibit one from having sex with a carcass," Anderson wrote.
Judge Michael Lucci heard the motion Tuesday.
If anyone knows how this issue turned out, let us know. With luck, it won't be an oft-cited case.
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We actually looked at that case in my statutory construction class. I believe that the judge ruled that the defense's definition of "animal" as requiring that the object be living was unreasonable. I want to say that he ruled that, as long as the dead version still resembled its living version, then it was an "animal" for the purposes of the statute. In that case, the deer-carcass still resembled a living deer, so he had broken the law.
Maybe the most interesting thing about the case is that the defendant had previously been arrested for having sex with a live horse.
Posted by: Jeremy Masten | Aug 24, 2007 8:30:37 AM