Frankly, we are a little astonished that the crime 18-year-old Osama Latif Malik is accused of committing allegedly took place right here in Harris County, albeit in Spring.
It's just not that often that we here in the nation's fourth-largest city read of people getting accused of having sex with their neighbor's goat, even at rodeo time.
It seems downright biblical, doesn't it? Or maybe a transgression from the Classical Mediterranean world: several ancient Greeks of note, including both Herodotus and Pindar, claimed that the Egyptians of pharoah days engaged in ritual congress with goats.
Perhaps Malik is of Egyptian heritage and merely honoring his very distant, pre-Islamic ancestors...At any rate, he is lucky he doesn't live in biblical times, for according to court documents, his transgression would be punishable by death for two reasons.
Read on, for a NSFW snippet of the charges against Malik
OSAMA LATIF MALIK, heretofore on or about March 3, 2010, did then and there lawfully and knowingly engage in an act invloving contact between the defendant's GENITALS and the ANUS of A GOAT to-wit: DEVIATE SEXUAL INTERCOURSE in a non-public place...and the defendant was reckless about whether another person was present who would be offended and alarmed by the acts of the defendant, to-wit: ENGAGING IN DEVIATE SEXUAL INTERCOURSE WITH A GOAT.
All punctuation original to the court documents....We imagine the court clerk laughing out loud with every capitalized passage...
Okay then. If we were to heed Leviticus, Malik could be put to death for either sodomy or bestiality, but since this is modern-day Texas, all he faces is a misdemeanor public lewdness rap.
Well, public lewdness and trespassing, for as we mentioned, he stands accused of rogering not his own goat but one belonging to his neighbor. (Come to think of it, doesn't that violate one of the Ten Commandments? Isn't there one about coveting the ass of your neighbor's goat?)
Public lewdness is a class A misdemeanor punishable by a max of one year in jail and a fine of $4000.
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We prefer the punishment concocted four years by a council of elders in Sudan. The situation was pretty much identical to this one. The BBC picks up the tale:
Mr Alifi, of Hai Malakal in Upper Nile State, told the Juba Post newspaper that he heard a loud noise around midnight on 13 February and immediately rushed outside to find Mr Tombe with his goat.
"When I asked him: 'What are you doing there?', he fell off the back of the goat, so I captured and tied him up."
Mr Alifi then called elders to decide how to deal with the case.
"They said I should not take him to the police, but rather let him pay a dowry for my goat because he used it as his wife," Mr Alifi told the newspaper.
Indeed. Why should the state get a fine instead of the goat's owner? And who could begrudge these two what seems to have been a lifetime of happiness?
"We have given him the goat, and as far as we know they are still together," Mr Alifi said.