Case Snapshot
Case ID: 9881
Classification: Bestiality
Animal: deer
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Wednesday, Oct 11, 2006

County: Douglas

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: Bryan James Hathaway

Case Updates: 3 update(s) available

Law enforcement and mental health experts say the community should be concerned about a man having a sexual attraction to animals who currently is being held for molesting a deer carcass.

On Oct. 11, Bryan James Hathaway, 20, pleaded innocent to assaulting the carcass, which a criminal complaint says he found it in a ditch along Stinson Avenue while riding his bike.

Hathaway was recently released from prison after serving an 18-month prison sentence for killing a horse. During an investigation of that incident, Hathaway said he wanted to have sex with the animal.

Bestiality - using animals for sexual gratification - is disturbing to people, said David Swenson, a forensic psychologist and associate professor of management at the College of St. Scholastica. Historically, there have been strong laws against it, and most states today prohibit abusing a lower creature in that manner.

"If somebody is killing animals, that shows a certain lack of empathy, a certain kind of predatory behavior," Swenson said.

Hathaway currently faces a misdemeanor charge of sexual gratification with an animal, which carries a maximum penalty of nine months in jail and $10,000 fine. However, because of his previous conviction, he could be sent to prison up to an additional 24 months.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Douglas County Circuit Court:

Superior Police Officer Adam Poskozim and two Department of Corrections agents met with Hathaway at his transitional housing residence in Superior Oct. 11. The Superior man's clothes were covered with blood and what appeared to be deer hair.

Hathaway originally told officers he had helped his father clean a deer. Later, he admitted to having sex with the dead deer near Murphy Oil refinery. Hathaway said he was aroused by the sight of the deer in the ditch. He admitted moving its carcass into the woods, where the assault occurred.

In April 2005, Hathaway was sentenced for mistreating an animal after shooting Bambrick, a 26-year-old gelding owned by Brenda Egan. Det. Sgt. Ed Anderson of the Douglas County Sheriff's Department has been in law enforcement for 28 years and investigated the incident.

"I've never run across a personality like this," he said. "I've never seen this type of behavior before."

Court records show Hathaway has faced other charges involving weapons violations and lewd behavior prior to the horse killing in December 2004 and the most recent charge.

In February 2004, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon, stemming from an incident at Lakeside Terrace in October 2003. According to testimony given during a preliminary examination to determine if felony charges were warranted, a Superior teenager testified Hathaway threatened to kill him and three friends, and pulled out a big gun and loaded it. Hathaway had been calling the boys names prior to that and had injured the teen by throwing a metal object at him, the teen said.

In May 2004, City Attorney Frog Press filed a motion to admit information from Hathaway's juvenile record that included damage to property, disorderly conduct and lewd and lascivious behavior, while prosecuting Hathaway for disorderly conduct and malicious mischief. Three days later, Hathaway pleaded no contest to the malicious mischief charge.

The closed case had troubling aspects, Anderson said - firing a weapon where it could have accidentally hit a person or house, and the predatory nature of the crime.

Swenson said when someone demonstrates an aggressive act and sexual act paired in such a way, it is cause for concern.

"We know he's been a danger to animals because he was convicted of killing one," Anderson said, but "it's hard to detect in fact if this person is a danger to others."

Swenson said it's difficult to gauge if this kind of behavior will repeat or escalate.

"Even for people who are violent toward other people, it is difficult to predict whether they will be violent again," he said.

Neither man could say what level of risk Hathaway could pose to the community.

Psychologists have tried to use inventories and actuarial measurements, similar to how an insurance company estimates risk, to predict whether an offender will reoffend, but the models tend to overpredict offenses. And in situations such as this, Swenson said, there are not many cases from which to draw information.

But it demonstrates a need for treatment, he said.

"Obviously, it's criminal behavior," Swenson said. "It indicates they need some help - counseling, psychotherapy - some structure to their life."

Anderson put it another way: "A personality this bizarre has to be monitored."

Hathaway remains in the Douglas County Jail in lieu of $200 bail. If released, he is to have no contact with animals. His next court appearance is Nov. 16.


Case Updates

A state appeals court Wednesday upheld a Superior's man conviction for having sex with a dead deer.

The 3rd District Court of Appeals rejected Bryan Hathaway's argument that the charge should be dismissed because the law against committing an act of sexual gratification with animals does not apply if they are dead.

''He rather convincingly contends that animal means a living creature,'' Judge Gregory Peterson wrote. ''However, Peterson pled no contest to the charge. A plea of guilty or no contest waives all nonjurisdictional defects and defenses.''

Hathaway, 21, pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor a year ago and was sentenced to probation that required him to be evaluated as a sex offender.

In January, Douglas County Circuit Court Judge Michael Lucci sentenced him to nine months in jail for probation violations that included using alcohol and marijuana and having unapproved contact with a minor child.

Hathaway told investigators that he saw a dead deer in a ditch near Superior in fall 2006 as he rode a bicycle by it. He then dragged it into the woods and had sex with it.

''When I was done, I was upset with myself,'' Hathaway said in a statement to police. ''I know having sex with animals is wrong.

But I can't help myself and I need help.''

The appeals court ruled Wednesday that police properly obtained the incriminating statement from Hathaway, rejecting the claim that his constitutional rights were violated.

Hathaway was questioned because he was on probation and had returned to a transitional living program in Superior covered in hair and blood with a knife in his pocket, court records said.

Hathaway was found guilty in April 2005 of felony mistreatment of an animal after he killed a horse with the intention of having sex with it. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail and two years of extended supervision on that charge as well as six years of probation for taking and driving a vehicle without the owner's consent.

Hathaway had just been released from prison for the killing the horse when the deer incident happened, court records said. Hathaway's attorney, Jefren Olsen, did not immediately return a telephone message Wednesday.
Source: Sun Times News Group - Feb 20, 2008
Update posted on Feb 20, 2008 - 5:45PM 
A 20-year-old Superior man received probation after he was convicted of having sexual contact with a dead deer.

The sentence also requires Bryan James Hathaway to be evaluated as a sex offender and treated at the Institute for Psychological and Sexual Health in Duluth, Minn.

"The state believes that particular place is the best to provide treatment for the individual," Assistant District Attorney Jim Boughner said.

Hathaway's probation will be served at the same time as a nine-month jail sentence he received in February for violating his extended supervision.

He was found guilty in April 2005 of felony mistreatment of an animal after he killed a horse with the intention of having sex with it. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail and two years of extended supervision on that charge as well as six years of probation for taking and driving a vehicle without the owner's consent.

Hathaway pleaded no contest earlier this month to misdemeanor mistreatment of an animal for the incident involving the deer. He was sentenced Tuesday in Douglas County Circuit Court.

"The type of behavior is disturbing," Judge Michael Lucci said. "It's disturbing to the public. It's disturbing to the court.
Source: AZCentral - March 21, 2007
Update posted on Mar 22, 2007 - 1:11PM 
Prosecution of a case involving alleged sexual contact with a dead deer may hinge on the legal definition of the word "animal."

Bryan James Hathaway, 20, of Superior, Wis., faces a misdemeanor charge of sexual gratification with an animal. He is accused of having sex with a dead deer he saw beside a road on Oct. 11.

A motion filed last week by his attorney, public defender Fredric Anderson, argued that since the deer was dead, it was not considered an animal and the charge should be dismissed.

"The statute does not prohibit one from having sex with a carcass," Anderson wrote.

Judge Michael Lucci heard the motion Tuesday.

"I'm a little surprised this issue hasn't been tackled before in another case," Lucci said.

The Webster's dictionary defines "animal" as "any of a kingdom of living beings," Anderson said.

If you include carcasses in that definition, he said, "you really go down a slippery slope with absurd results."

Anderson argued: When does a turkey cease to be an animal? When it is dead?

When it is wrapped in plastic packaging in the freezer? When it is served, fully cooked?

A judge should decide what the Legislature intended "animal" to mean in the statute, he said. "And the only clear point to draw the line in that definition, I believe, is the point of death."

Assistant District Attorney James Boughner said the court can use a dictionary to determine the meaning of the word, but it doesn't have to.

"The common and ordinary meaning of a word can be found in how people actually use the word," Boughner wrote in his response to the motion.

When a person's pet dog dies, he told Lucci, the person still refers to the dog as his or her dog, not a carcass.

"It stays a dog for some time," Boughner said.

He referred to the criminal complaint, in which Hathaway told police he saw the dead deer in the ditch and moved it into the woods. Hathaway called it a dead deer, Boughner said, not a carcass.

"It did not lose its essence as a deer, an animal, when it died," he said.

Anderson argued that the statute, which falls under the heading "crimes against sexual morality," was meant to protect animals. That would be unnecessary in the case of a dead animal.

"If you look at the other crimes that are in this subsection, they all protect against something other than simply things we don't like or things we find disgusting," he said.

Other crimes in that subsection include incest, bigamy, public fornication and lewd and lascivious behavior.

Boughner said the focus of the statute was on punishing the human behavior, not protecting animals.

"It does not seem to draw a line between the living and the dead," he said.

Interpreting the statute to exclude dead animals would also exclude freshly killed animals, Boughner said. That, he said, could lead to people who commit such acts with animals to kill them.

Lucci said he would render a decision by Hathaway's next court appearance on Dec. 1.

The misdemeanor charge carries a maximum penalty of nine months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. If convicted, Hathaway could serve a prison term of up to two years because of a previous conviction. In April 2005, Hathaway pleaded no contest to one felony charge of mistreatment of an animal for the shooting death of Bambrick, a 26-year-old horse, to have sex with the animal.
Source: San Luis Obispo - Nov 15, 2006
Update posted on Nov 16, 2006 - 12:30PM 

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