Nicholas Anthony Sardo will be back in court in January 2019 to face charges for having sexual contact with a miniature horse. The 21-year-old Florida man admitted to deputies that he had sex with the animal four times in one week.
The horse, named Jackie G, belongs to one of Sardo’s relatives. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office says multiple witnesses reported seeing Sardo engaging in sexual activity with the horse out in the pasture back in October. Sardo was arrested November 19, 2018.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Sardo Confessed to Having Sex With the Miniature Horse & Told Deputies He Was a ‘Sick Man’
Nicholas Sardo reportedly engaged in sexual activity with the male miniature horse, named Jackie G, back in October. Sardo appears to have taken no effort to conceal what he was doing. The animal was grazing in the pasture on his family member’s property.
Multiple witnesses told sheriff’s deputies they had seen Sardo having sex with Jackie G. At least one person asked Sardo about it directly, and Sardo admitted to her that he had in fact had sex with the horse four times in one week. He later confessed to deputies as well.
According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Sardo told deputies that he had used a condom each time because he had been concerned about catching a disease. Officials said that Sardo acknowledged that “he was wrong for what he did” and called himself a “sick man.”
2. Sardo Faces Charges of Bestiality/Sexual Contact With an Animal, Which is a Misdemeanor
Nicholas Anthony Sardo was arrested November 19, 2018 and booked into the Marion County Jail. He faces four counts of bestiality/sexual contact with an animal. Jail records list bond as $100 per charge. But the Miami Herald reports the bond was set at $4,000.
Inmate records do not indicate whether Sardo has an attorney. A court appearance was scheduled for January 11, 2019.
Sexual conduct or contact with an animal is illegal under Florida law. It is a first degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year behind bars and a $1,000 fine per charge.
3. The Miniature Horse Named ‘Jackie G’ Belongs to Sardo’s Relative & Deputies Did Not Mention Whether The Horse Had Been injured
The miniature horse belongs to a family member of Sardo’s. Deputies did not mention whether Jackie G was injured. Deputies wrote on Facebook that a judge could decide whether Sardo is allowed to come near the horse in the future.
A miniature horse is not the same as a pony. According to the American Miniature Horse Association, a miniature horse is no taller than 34 inches, measured from the animal’s back to the ground. The association describes their personalities as “gentle and affectionate.”
Miniature horse breeding has been going on for at least 400 years. The Association states on its website that the first miniature horse in the United States was imported in 1888.
Ponies are smaller and stockier with thicker coats.
4. Nicholas Sardo’s Facebook Profile Includes Memes About Communism & Photos of Him Wearing a Gas Mask
Nicholas Anthony Sardo is 21 years old. According to his Facebook page, he lives in Citra, Florida, which is located about 100 miles northwest of Orlando. He attended North Marion High School.
Sardo appears to have some sort of fascination with Russian history. His Facebook page includes posts depicting Vladimir Lenin and Czar Nicholas II. His cover photo also depicts the U.S. Communist Party logo.
Sardo’s profile picture shows him wearing a gas mask. There are also photos from 2014 in which Sardo appears to be wearing some sort of officer uniform. Posts dating back to 2011 show Sardo wearing army fatigues and a karate uniform.
A few commenters on social media have come to Sardo’s defense, alleging that he has a mental handicap or behavioral issues.
5. A Majority of States Have Laws Banning Bestiality; There is No Federal Law Against It
Having sexual contact with an animal is not a federal crime. Instead, the federal government has left that issue up to the states.
According to the Michigan State University College of Law, at least 45 states ban bestiality. 24 states list it as a misdemeanor, while 21 states punish those convicted of bestiality with a felony.
Possible punishments vary dramatically based on the state as well. As mentioned above, bestiality is a first degree misdemeanor in Florida punishable by up to one year behind bars. But in Rhode Island, the punishment can range from 7 to 20 years in prison.