We tend to write mostly about people. Specifically, our blog discusses the law, and how it affects you and me. But our attention does get diverted at times, and this week’s diversion comes courtesy of a couple of recent news reports out of the Phoenix area.
The first article concerns a man who police say posted an ad on Craig’s list seeking sex of an unusual variety. They claim he was looking for a dog to share his bed with, so to speak. The report we read appears to place the impetus for the ad on the fact that the suspect had a difficult marriage, and had not had sex for a year. Well, we’re not so sure, but we can tell you that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office set up a sting operation, and finally convinced the man to meet with an undercover police officer and a dog in Mesa, at which time he was arrested. Apparently lots of folks at the MCSO got involved, included Joe Arpaio, who recounted that it took negotiations and a number of conversations before the suspect agreed to meet with the undercover officer. The police say that after the arrest, they went further and seized the man’s computers and cell phone, we assume in order to substantiate evidence of the conversations. A serious commitment of time and resources, we’d say.
While we certainly support animal rights, and oppose the kind of kinky behavior alleged here, we do wonder how this will all play out. The article says that the man is charged with bestiality, which is a class 6 felony under A.R.S. § 13-1411. Of course, the elements of the crime of bestiality include having sex (of one sort or the other) with animal. Since there does not appear to have been any actual sexual contact in the case, we’re thinking that the most they can do is charge the man with attempted bestiality, or, more likely, solicitation of bestiality, both of which are misdemeanors. Like we said, it’s not that we endorse the conduct alleged, it’s just that the manpower devoted to the sting was . . . let’s just say attributable much more to the publicity it would garner than the seriousness of the offense.
In a related, but not nearly so bizarre story, we’re told that burglars entered a home in east Phoenix, and in addition to stealing electronic equipment and household possessions, they made off with Charlie, the homeowner’s purebred springer spaniel puppy. What, no sting operation on this one? And as far as we know, Joe Arpaio has not yet issued a statement on the case.
Law Offices of David A. Black
40 North Central Avenue #1850
Phoenix, AZ 85004