Sacremento, CA – This is actually from a few months back. Oddly, it is only now making the rounds in Australian news – where I picked it up. I wrote it up before realizing the time warp. Oh well. Australia’s disconnectedness is your gain…
A wheelchair-bound California man will serve 10 years in jail after sexually assaulting an 8-month-old Chihuahua.
According to court documents, 55-year-old Robert Edwards De Shields – who is described as a wheelchair-bound methamphetamine addict – had been offered a temporary place to live in a South Sacramento home. Prosecutors said when the homeowners came home one day in March, they reportedly found De Shields holding the ‘scared’ Chihuahua named Shadow. When the dog was missing the following day, Shadow was reportedly found in the garage with De Shields in ‘pain and shock.’
A veterinarian would later find severe injuries to the dog’s rectum and internal organs, and evidence of asphyxiation. Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies made the arrest.
A jury convicted De Shields after a trial that contained graphic testimony about his abuse of Shadow including strangulation and penetration with a foreign object. De Shields was then subsequently sentenced to 10 years in state prison and has been ordered to register as a lifetime sex offender.
De Shields’ attorney, Jennifer Stoneburner, argued that her client was convicted of animal abuse, not a sex crime, and should not have to register as a sexual offender. A probation report concluded that De Shields engaged in “aberrant behavior” but is not a child molester or rapist, she argued.
“There is no indication that [Jessica's Law] should apply” in animal abuse cases, she said
Judge Thadd Blizzard declared instead that the crime De Shields committed was “inherently sexual in nature” and thus ordered him to register as a sex offender. As a registered sexual offender – when released, De Shields will be required to wear an electronic surveillance device and must keep away from all
At the time of sentencing hearing, Shadow had found a new home with a county shelter employee who spoke at the hearing about the dog’s suffering. Be well, Shadow.Tags: California, Chihuahua, Robert De Shields, sexually assault, wheelchair-bound