Case Snapshot
Case ID: 701
Classification: Mutilation/Torture
Animal: cat
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Monday, Apr 30, 2001

Disposition: Convicted

» Anthony Wennekers
» Jesse Powers
» Matthew Kaczorowski

Case Updates: 7 update(s) available

Cat skinned alive on videotape supposedly in the name of "art". The decapitated body of the cat was found over a hanger in the suspects' refrigerator.

A 17-minute video of a cat being disemboweled with knives and dental tools drew gasps as it was played in a courtroom yesterday during a sentencing hearing for two men who admitted torturing the pet to death.

Anthony Ryan Wennekers, 24, and Jessie Champlain Powers, 22, have pleaded guilty to mischief and cruelty to animals. A third man who appears in the video remains at large.

"He did not intend to participate in cruelty. He wanted to challenge those who choose to eat meat and became involved in an extreme act to make a point," she said.

An earlier video project done by Powers of a chicken being decapitated earned him an A grade at the Ontario College of Art and Design, she said. Powers also made a video called "Dead Animal Disco" in which he used a dead fox, muskrat and a skinned orangutan carcass from the Royal Ontario Museum and makes them dance to music.

About a hundred members of the public, many of whom brought their pets and held animal rights placards outside Old City Hall courthouse, attended the sentencing hearing.

Powers received a 90-day jail sentence, to be served on weekends.  Mr. Justice Edward Ormston of the Ontario Court of Justice gave gave Wennekers "time served," and freed him.

To gasps of horror, Ontario Court Judge Ted Ormston told the packed, tearful courtroom Thursday he didn't sentence the men to the maximum time allowed because he felt their crime was not the worst offence possible.

"There are worse ways that this cat could have died," said Ormston, who took more than two weeks to deliberate the sentence.

"I find the cat died a cruel death at the hands of these men, but I do not find it was the worst offence."  After viewing the videotape Ormston said the men could have spent longer torturing the cat, but didn't. 

Although it is unconfirmed, it is an interesting coincidence that someone with the same name in the same city where Matthew Kaczorowski was caught is associated with a band called the in case the page disappears). (Thanks to

Case Updates

Kaczorowski was sentenced to 6 months in custody for cruelty and 3 years probation for mischief. He was immediately released from jail for "time served." He "received 8 months credit for the time he spent in jail awaiting sentencing" despite only spending 4 months in jail.
Because of a decision through the Court of Appeal on the Jesse Power case, the Judge on Matt's case was restricted from handing out more jail time, but instead was able to give out 3 years of restricted probation on the mischief charge.
Matt received the following sentence: time served in pre-trial custody (2-for-1 credit for his stay at the Don jail) plus 3 years restricted probation.

The probation terms are as follows:
- counselling recommended by the probation officer
- must not be in possession of weapons or animals
- must reside at an approved location
- 200 hours of community service
- must not stay in Toronto
Man sentenced, released
Source: Animal Advocacy - 2003
Update posted on Dec 25, 2005 - 12:58AM 
Ontario's highest court has been asked to send an A-student from the Ontario College of Art and Design back to jail for videotaping the torture and skinning of a live cat and calling it art.

Jesse Power, who has served 90 days in prison and eight months of house arrest for animal cruelty and mischief, should serve the remaining 10 months of his conditional sentence behind bars, Crown attorney Jamie Klukach told a three-judge panel of the Ontario Court of Appeal yesterday.

Ms. Klukach argued that Ontario Court Judge Edward Ormston misconstrued psychiatric evidence about the 23-year-old's motives and failed to apply the principles of deterrence and denunciation properly.

Read More: The Globe and Mail
Update posted on May 29, 2003 - 12:59PM 
Matthew Kaczorowski, appearing at Old City Hall via a video hookup from the Toronto (Don) Jail, nodded as the court heard that a guilty plea to a charge of mischief had been negotiated between his lawyer, Daniel Brodsky, and prosecutor Robin Flumerfelt.

Crown Attorney Cynthia Eitel, reading an e-mail from Flumerfelt, said it was agreed that Kaczorowski will be sentenced after the Ontario Court of Appeal hears an appeal of a co-accused's sentence. The hearing is set for May 28.
Source: The Toronto Star
Update posted on Apr 10, 2003 - 6:44AM 
Kaczorowski was remanded into custody until April Fool's Day at the request of his new lawyer, Dan Brodsky.
Update posted on Mar 29, 2003 - 8:59PM 
Wennekers was sentenced to 21 months jail time but the judge considered the past 10 and half months Wennekers has served in Toronto's Don Jail as time served. Wennekers also received a three-year probationary period during which time he is not allowed to have any animal or bird in his possession.

Powers was sentenced to a blended sentence of 90 days in jail, to be served through 16 consecutive weekends of incarceration beginning the weekend of June 7-10, followed by an 18 month conditional sentence, whereby he will be under house arrest and closely monitored. Additionally, Power is subject to three years probation, during which time he is not allowed to have any animal or bird in his possession.
Update posted on Mar 26, 2003 - 8:43AM 
Matthew Kaczorowski faces charges of mischief, theft under $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime. The case was remanded until March 14 for a bail hearing.
Update posted on Mar 13, 2003 - 9:23AM 
Two Toronto detectives left Vancouver on Tuesday with a third man, Matthew Kaczorowski, 21, in custody; the statute of limitations on animal cruelty has run out, so he's to be charged today with mischief.
Source: Update posted on Mar 12, 2003 - 6:43PM 


  • The Toronto Star

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