Public Comments for: HB672 - Sexual abuse of animals; penalty.
Last Name: Spisak Locality: Fairfax County - MCLEAN

PLEASE SUPPORT HB672 updating the archaic code with respect to this matter. The present cost to prosecute this deviant behavior may save lots more money (and lives ruined) in the long run. In a study of over 44,000 adults evaluated for sexual misconduct found that sexual abuse of animals was both the single largest risk factor and the strongest predictor of increased risk for sexual molestation of a child. This is one of the reasons the FBI now tracks animal sexual abuse in the National Incident Based Reporting System, in the same category as rape and murder. IT'S TIME TO PROTECT ANIMALS AND CHILDREN - neither can do it for themselves.

Last Name: Harless Organization: HSUS Locality: Glen Allen

Anyone who would do this to an animal will also do it to a child. Its the same person. This bill needs the same attention as a bill dealing with child abuse. Thank you for your attention. Dave Harless

Last Name: Hanrahan Locality: Lorton

I am writing in support of HB672, which would prohibit the sexual abuse of animals. Current Virginia law makes it a crime for anyone to “carnally know a brute animal….” Does anyone know what this means? What is carnal knowledge? What is sexual abuse? What is a brute animal? What definitions apply? To whom does the prohibition apply? Solicitors? Those who allow others to sexually abuse their pets (yes, this happens)? Individuals who traffic in and trade animals for sexual abuse? Those who develop and share animals in sexually pornographic content on the Internet? What procedures apply? May abused animals be seized? How may they be disposed? What if the animal was abused in the past and there is no current physical injury but there is film that is evidence of the abuse? Do we know the answers to these questions? No, because Virginia law is so antiquated. And the murkiness of the Virginia law is an obstacle to its enforcement and to the efforts of law enforcement to protect animals from this horrific and “unseemly” conduct. The unseemliness of this conduct seems, regrettably, to hamper our efforts to protect animals from the worst predators among us. Some would prefer not to even discuss the issue, to make light of the issue, to offer some awkward humor to bridge the embarrassment we might feel. But it is not a subject that belongs in the shadows. Sexual violence against women and children often lagged in the attention of law enforcement because sexual abuse was an uncomfortable subject and was not regarded with the seriousness that it deserved. As if this painful and injurious conduct towards animals was not enough of a reason to clearly prohibit it in the Commonwealth, then this certainly ought to garner and galvanize the attention of lawgivers: a study of over 44,000 adults evaluated for sexual misconduct found that sexual abuse of animals was both the single largest risk factor and the strongest predictor of increased risk for sexual molestation of a child. This is one of the reasons the FBI now tracks animal sexual abuse in the National Incident Based Reporting System, in the same category as rape and murder. Is this a problem really? Yes, the incidence of animals sexual abuse has risen nearly 800% since 2000. It occurs in every state, in rural and urban communities. Why would anyone oppose this legislation? It is the right thing to do. Surely we can all at least agree that sexual abuse of animals is not something we want to protect in Virginia. Can’t we?

Last Name: Christiansen Locality: Centreville

I support this bill. We need to strengthen and modernize Virginia's current law on animal sexual abuse.

Last Name: Boyle Locality: Woolwine

Please STOP this!!! This is barbaric!

Last Name: Brown Locality: Roanoke

I write in support of HB672. Animal sexual abuse is the single strongest predictor of increased risk for committing child sexual abuse. A study of 44,202 adult males evaluated for sexual misconduct found that sexual contact with animals is the single largest risk factor and strongest predictor of increased risk for sexually molesting a child. Some studies have found high rates of sexual assault of animals in the backgrounds of serial sexual homicide perpetrators. This is one reason why beastiality and other forms of animal cruelty are now tracked by the FBI as a Group A offense in the National incident Based Reporting System, in the same category as rape and murder. Section 18.2-361, Crimes against Nature, makes it a crime for anyone to "carnally know a brute animal..." The current law uses archaic language and proves no clear definition of what constitutes sexual abuse to animals leaving large loopholes. It does not penalize individuals who are not themselves the abuser--such as those who solicit or allow others to sexually abuse their pets. Additionally, it lacks references to authority and procedures such as seizure and disposition of animals. Finally, like women and children, animals are traded and trafficked for sex and frequently used in the pornography industry. This is not explicitly prohibited under the current law. Additionally, Virginia's animal cruelty law only applies in cases where there is provable physical injury to the animal. Many acts of animal sexual abuse are filmed and discovered well after the incident occurs, so the requisite animal or medical evidence to substantiate physical injury cannot be recovered.

Last Name: Massa Locality: Virginia Beach

I support HB672. Come on... really?

End of Comments