A couple who tortured and crushed a number of small animals with instruments to make fetish porn have been charged with five counts of cruelty and two counts of obscenity, authorities said today.
Brent Justice, 51, and 21-year-old Ashley Nicole Richards, from Houston, Texas, appeared in court in August after videos involving puppies, kittens and chickens being tortured or killed using kitchen cutlery, household tools and shoes were found by police.
The footage was then sold by the pair to sexual fetishists as 'animal crush' videos. Richards said she made videos at customers' requests.
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Despicable: Brent Justice, 51 (left) and 21-year-old Ashley Nicole Richards have been charged with felony cruelty for hurting the animals using kitchen cutlery, household tools and shoes and filming the torture in Texas
Crush films are a fetish which show an animal being stepped on for the viewer's sexual gratification.
The federal law defines 'animal crush videos' as any photograph, motion-picture film, video or digital recording that depicts living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians intentionally crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury, and is obscene.
As many as 27 videos were seized by police, after a tip-off from animal activists PETA, which featured torture using high heels, a meat cleaver, knives, screwdrivers and pliers.
In one of the videotapes, Richards can be seen torturing a pit bull puppy, according to the Houston Chronicle. She allegedly bound the puppy's mouth with tape and cut its back leg with a meat cleaver. She then cut the back of the dog's neck and used a different knife to cut the underside of its neck, prosecutors said, before severing off its head.
WATCHING ANIMALS GET KILLED FOR SEXUAL GRATIFICATION?
Prosecutor Belinda Smith told the court in August: 'She wore stiletto heels, and she would stomp on the cat, and ultimately she stomped directly on its eye.'
At one point during the hearing, the Harris County judge had to stop reading court documents because the details were too gruesome.
The pair could face possible fines of $250,000 on each conviction and at least three years of supervised release to follow any prison terms.
The production or trade of crush erotica is condemned animal cruelty charities and is illegal in the U.S. If it becomes a federal case, Justice and Richards could face up to seven years in jail.
Police were alerted to the cruelty after a concerned member of the public contacted PETA.
Houston Humane Society spokeswoman Monica Schmidt told the Chronicle she has never heard of a case like this in her four years in animal rights.
'In the back of my mind, I've heard that something like this existed, but I never dreamed that my city would be where this horrible abuse would be taking place,' she said. 'I think this takes animal cruelty to a whole different level of what we're used to seeing in Houston.'
Disgust: The judge in Harris County struggled to read the charges aloud when they appeared in August because they included such horrific torture of animals by suspects Justice and Richards
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2240568/Couple-tortured-puppy-kittens-chickens-cutlery-household-tools-high-heels-make-animal-crush-videos-sexual-fetishists.html#ixzz2Dhe0ANqq
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