Nolene Renee Horn, who is a former elementary school teacher, and Christopher S. Jones of Kentucky are facing potential prison time for engaging in sexual activity with a dog. It is the first case of its kind since the state officially banned bestiality in 2019, according to the attorney general’s office.
According to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, Horn and Jones both pleaded guilty to two counts of sex crimes against an animal, which is a Class D felony. They also pleaded guilty to torturing a dog, which is a misdemeanor.
Heavy has reached out to the AG’s office to request access to the criminal complaint but have not yet heard back.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Attorney General Described the Crime as ‘Heinous & Obscene’
Horn, 44, and Jones, 50, were accused of having sexual contact with a dog on November 3, 2019, according to court documents cited by Fox19 News. The incident took place in Mason County, which is located in the northeastern part of the state along the border with Ohio.
The attorney general’s office did not provide information as to how Horn and Jones’ actions were uncovered or disclose specific details about the crime. In a news release, the AG’s office explained that the “Maysville Police Department investigated the case, and the Boone County Sheriff’s office provided forensic support.” The state’s Office of Special Prosecutions handled the case.
A Mason County grand jury formally indicted Horn and Jones on June 10, 2020, on two charges each and warrants were issued for their arrest. When announcing the indictment for sex crimes against an animal and animal torture, Cameron described the charges as “heinous and obscene” and that they “cannot go unpunished.”
Jones and Horn both pleaded guilty to the charges, the AG’s office announced in a November 24 news release. Sentencing was scheduled for February 22, 2021, according to records on the Kentucky Court of Justice website.
Horn Was an Elementary School Teacher
Horn, who resides in Bracken County, previously worked as an elementary school teacher. According to the state’s Educational Professional Standards Board website, she was employed at Charles Straub Elementary School. The school is part of the Mason County School District.
Heavy reached out to the district superintendent, Rick Ross. He confirmed via email that Horn worked at the school for nearly two decades. She started with the district in January 2002 before abruptly resigning in February 2020. Ross told Heavy Horn did not provide a reason for quitting but simply stated that her resignation was effective immediately.
According to the state education department record, Horn has been a licensed educator since at least 2007. Her current license was scheduled to expire at the end of June. Horn holds a “Professional Certificate For Teaching In Elementary School, Primary Through Grade 5.” Her certification was still active as of this writing. The website notes that “suspended and revoked credentials are shown with red text with a strike through line” but Horn’s profile does not include this.
A search of online records brought up a Christopher S. Jones with a Maysville, Kentucky, address, but his place of employment was unclear.
Sex Between Humans & Animals Was Outlawed in Kentucky in 2019
According to the law, “‘Sexual contact’ means any act committed between a person and an animal for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, abuse, or financial gain.” An animal was defined as “any nonhuman creature.” A person can be convicted of a sexual crime against an animal if they are found or admit to have engaged in the following:
(a) Engages in sexual contact with an animal;
(b) Advertises, solicits, offers, or accepts the offer of an animal, or possesses, purchases, or otherwise obtains an animal, with the intent that the animal be subject to sexual contact; or
(c) Causes, aids, or abets another person to engage in sexual contact with an animal.
Sex crimes against an animal carry a potential punishment of between 1 and 5 years behind bars, the Courier-Journal reported. Convicted felons are also banned from owning or living with any animals and cannot “work or volunteer in a place where the person has unsupervised access to animals for a minimum of five (5) years after completion of the imposed sentence,” according to the language of the law. Counseling is also required.
According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, there are now only four states that do not have any written laws explicitly addressing the sexual assault of animals: West Virginia, New Mexico, Wyoming and Hawaii. The fund notes that in those states, a similar crime would be handled as an animal cruelty case.
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