CALIFORNIA: A 26-year-old man was sentenced to 16 years in prison on Friday (Jul 14) by a Santa Clara County court after he was found guilty of killing 21 cats and sexually abusing one that was dead, according to reports.
Robert Roy Farmer pleaded guilty to 21 felony counts of animal cruelty and one count each of misdemeanor battery and being under the influence, said the Mercury News of San Jose.
According to the report, the cats at San Jose Cambrian Park neighbourhood began "mysteriously disappearing" from Sep 2015.
"Several cats subsequently turned up dead, including two discovered in a dumpster," the report added.
Neighbours began helping the police gather evidence through video footage as more cats were reported missing or dead, the report added.
On Oct 8, 2015, Farmer was found sleeping in a car with a dead cat by police.
"Chunks of fur and streaks of blood covered the interior of Farmer’s vehicle, where police also found a backpack with a pair of fur-covered gloves and a hunting knife in a sheath," the report said.
During court proceedings, a necropsy report from Animal Services "found signs of sexual abuse on the orange female tabby cat inside the car, including dilated genitals."
This triggered a legal debate over whether Farmer should be registered as a sex offender after serving his jail term.
But the judge rejected the notion saying the prosecution's argument "did not meet the burden" for that order.
Farmer was ordered to stay away from cats for 10 years after his release and away from the San Jose Cambrian Park neighbourhood.