Louisiana police officer Terry Yetman has been charged with 20 counts of sexual abuse of animals, and a further 20 counts of filming sexual acts involving animals — one of his canine victims being his own police K9.
An internal investigation into the 38-year-old decorated Bossier City Police Department officer was launched in August 2018, resulting in a search warrant being obtained for Yetman's electronic devices. They contained dozens of videos of Yetman engaging in sexual activity with dogs in his home.
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He was arrested 19th December, and booked into the Bossier County Maximum Correctional Facility. Prosecutors have indicated one abused dog, a Belgian Malinois, was a retired police dog. Under Louisiana state law, an individual convicted of first offense sexual abuse of an animal faces a maximum US$2,000 fine, five-year prison term, psychological evaluation and a ban on contact with animals for a minimum of five years. A second offense carries a maximum US$25,000 fine, 10-year prison term, and related restrictions.
Yetman was part of his department's Domestic Task Force, responsible for protecting victims of domestic violence. Mere months before his perversions were exposed, he was awarded the Trey Hutchison Award for his work on the force, an accolade named after an officer killed in the line of duty in August 2004 as he responded to a domestic violence call. Yetman received the award "for (his) outstanding efforts over the past year to champion the protective rights of domestic violence victims and their families".
Animal protection group In Defense of Animals has collected over 20,000 signatures calling for the maximum penalties to be imposed upon Yetman should he be convicted.
"Thousands were moved by this horrific case and want to see justice done. A healthy society protects its innocents: vulnerable children, animals, elderly citizens. Sexual predators must be made to fear the loss of freedom and a stinging financial impact. We call on District Attorney Schuyler Marvin to take zero tolerance stance on bestiality and prosecute Yetman to the fullest if he is found guilty," stated Doll Stanley, the group's campaign director.
Perversely though, the once-esteemed officer's apparent crimes are far from an isolated incident. For instance, in June 2018 Harris County Sheriff deputy Andrew C. Sustaita Jr. was fired after the department found he too had filmed himself having sex with a dog. He was sentenced to 27 years in prison, albeit not for bestiality — during the investigation, he was found to be in possession of around 200 videos and images of child pornography, some of it home-made and involving a family member's daughter.
In the UK in March 2016, police community support officer Derren Jon Tomlinson was jailed for over 11 years for a series of sex offences including raping a child and a dog. Having been a respected PCSO for nine years, he'd been arrested for an unrelated matter the previous year, and as part of the investigation his mobile phone was seized and examined — revealing a number of images depicting his illicit sexual acts. Sentencing judge Robin Onions ruled Tomlinson posed a significant risk of reoffending and had shown little remorse, "feeling more sorry for himself than what he's done".