Sheriff's office investigates horse abuse north of RS
July 22, 2020
The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office is investigating claims of horses being sexually abused north of Rock Springs.
According to Jason Mower, public information officer for the sheriff’s office, the initial case was reported June 25 after a property owner turned over trail camera footage depicting a man trespassing into a private corral and initiating sexual intercourse with a mare. Mower said the property owner became suspicious after leaving the corral locked and returning to find it locked in a different manner than it had originally been locked.
Mower declined to release the suspect’s name as charges have not been filed yet.
An investigation is ongoing and Mower said other horse owners in the area may have been targeted.
The sheriff’s office is also investigating a possible assault related to the case after landowners allegedly confronted the suspect.
“We’re really exploring all avenues in this case,” he said.
Mower said investigators interviewed the suspect and claimed the man admitted to having intercourse with a mare and digitally penetrating a foal.
Mower said state statutes only allow for criminal trespass charges in this situation as bestiality is not a crime in Wyoming. Wyoming is one of four states not to have a law prohibiting the act. Mower said the sheriff’s office is also working with federal agencies to determine if federal laws apply to the situation.
He said another possible avenue to prosecute is through a cruelty to animals charge, but said they would have to determine if the horses were traumatized by the acts.
While some aspects the case have presented challenges for potential charges, Mower said the sheriff’s office intends to focus on helping property owners protect their property.
Mower said residents who believe their horses may have been targeted or have potential evidence related to the investigation can contact the lead investigator, Deputy Matt Wharton, at 922-5345.