You know it's time for the human race to pack it in and call it a day when the need arises to pass a state bill criminalizing sex with animals.
But that's what State Rep. Carol Alvarado is trying to do with her introduction of what her office calls "landmark animal rights legislation," which is a nicer way of saying "Bestiality Bill." (Texas is one of only eight states without bestiality laws on the books, according to Alvarado's office).
In skin-crawling detail, House Bill 1087 lays out most permutations of person-on-animal sexual activity, including dry-humping. We say "most" permutations, because the bill overlooks actions that don't involve an animal's orifices. Not sure how to put this delicately, but, per the bill's current text, it apparently wouldn't be illegal to put a cat paw/donkey hoof/aardvark nose in any of your orifices. But we can certainly understand how normal, non-animal-rapists can forget to cover all the bases in a bill that highlights one of the darkest corners of the soul.
The bill would make sexual assault of animal a state jail felony, which carries a sentence of 6 months to two years. However, it could be enhanced to a second-degree felony (2-20 years) if the animal is killed or seriously injured.
Alvarado's chief of staff Alex Hammond told us the bill was spurred by the Harris County District Attorney's Office and the Humane Society of the United States, which noted that there have been some instances — like the January arrest of ex-Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Sustaita Jr. — where prosecutors have been unable to charge someone with animal rape, even when the act was caught on tape.
Authorities say Sustaita recorded himself sexually assaulting an animal — one source claimed to KTRK it was a small dog — but, without a bestiality bill, prosecutors were only able to charge him with obscenity. The charge, along with child pornography-related charges, was later dismissed, and Sustaita was charged with sexual exploitation of children in federal court. (On a side note, Sustaita's case is the only one we've seen so far where prosecutors sought a "no contact" order to keep Sustaita away from domesticated and farm animals).
This deserves a big "Eeewwww!" and a hearty "Thanks, Rep. Alvarado." Unless there are some real weirdos in the legislature, we assume this bill will sail through, and animals throughout the land can sleep better at night. Now if you'll excuse us, it's time for a Clorox shower.