March 3: Sheriff: Coker man admits to sexually abusing dog. There is not an anti-bestiality law in Alabama.
A Coker man charged with animal cruelty admitted that he sexually abused a dog, Sheriff Ted Sexton said today.
Three witnesses told deputies that they saw Samuel Earl Sims, 56, abusing the mixed-breed dog at a home on Hillview Lane around midnight Sunday.
“These witnesses happened to observe this by accident,” Sexton said. “They were shocked and appalled.”
Deputies had the same reaction. They were working Monday to upgrade the misdemeanor animal cruelty charge to a felony.
“We’re aggressively trying to seek more serious charges,” Sexton said.
There is not an anti-bestiality law in Alabama.
Deputies were not sure Monday whether the 40-pound dog, named “Lady”, has an owner.
“It seems that she’s a neighborhood dog. If someone claims her, she will be returned to the owner,” he said. Otherwise, she may be available for adoption.
Veterinarian Dr. Jimmy Canant examined the dog and found no serious injuries, Sexton said. He said that the dog has a good disposition and got along with other dogs at the vet’s office.
The sheriff did not provide further details about the situation. He said that Sims admitted his guilt.
“Our defendant did give a statement admitting to the allegation that he had sexual intercourse with the dog,” he said. “This is the first time in my career that I have heard of anyone doing this.”
Two deputies discussing the case in Sexton’s office Monday morning said that they had heard similar allegations in the past, but did not know of any cases where there was evidence or an arrest made.
He was charged with Class A and Class B misdemeanor animal cruelty charges. A judge will later drop one of the charges.
He remained in the Tuscaloosa County Jail Monday afternoon with bail set at $1,500.
Sexton said that he contacted a state legislator Monday to discuss the possibility of introducing anti-bestiality legislation.
Sims has been arrested in the past. In 1992 he plead guilty to an arson charge after setting fire in several trailers and a car at a mobile home park in Shelby County. The court file indicated that Sims cannot read or write and has a fifth-grade education. A probation officer wrote that he was “somewhat” mentally disabled.
Reach Stephanie Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-722-0210.