Case Snapshot
Case ID: 860
Classification: Bestiality
Animal: horse
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Monday, Mar 31, 1997

County: Waupaca

Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Sterling Rachwal

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel carried a story on April 21, 1997 that jury selection was scheduled to begin for a rural Weyauwega man accused of sexually assaulting a pregnant mare. A trial for Sterling Rachwal, 33, has been moved to Oconto County because of extensive pretrial publicity and safety concerns. A judge earlier ordered that an anonymous jury be selected to hear the case to prevent animal rights groups from contacting them.

He is charged with burglary, mistreatment of an animal, criminal damage to property and bail jumping in the June 1 incident in the rural Waupaca County town of Mukwa. Rachwal was arrested after a couple, who lived next door to Rachwal's parents, reported that their pregnant Arabian mare had been sexually assaulted. The horse survived the attack.

At the time of the incident, Rachwal was free on a signature bond stemming from a case in Monroe County, where he was convicted of sexually assaulting three horses at farms in the Tomah area in 1993. Those horses were destroyed because of their injuries. That conviction was overturned by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 1995 and Rachwal was awaiting a new trial.

Rachwal has been convicted of mistreating horses, resulting in the deaths of several, numerous times in Waupaca County in 1982, 1984 and 1988.


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