Man gets 18 months' probation in Arizona bestiality case

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 14, 2016 5:11 PM

(Editor's note: Please be advised that this story contains content that some readers may find disturbing)

By David Schwartz

PHOENIX (Reuters) - A Pennsylvania man who traveled to Arizona to have sex with a horse before being nabbed by undercover police was sentenced on Thursday to 18 months of supervised probation, court officials said.

Michael Crawford, 69, pleaded guilty in November to one count of conspiracy to commit bestiality under a deal with prosecutors after his arrest by sheriff's detectives at a horse trailer in Tolleson, 12 miles (19.3 km) west of downtown Phoenix.

His attorney declined to comment on the sentence following the proceedings in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix.

Crawford was arrested last July in an undercover sting operation that began when a deputy responded to his online advertisement that detailed his sexual intentions.

Authorities said Crawford sent graphic emails and had telephone conversations about wanting such an act and made it clear that he was seeking a willing horse owner.

Undercover detectives then met Crawford at the Phoenix airport and took him to a meeting with a volunteer posse member at the trailer. He was taken into custody after he confirmed his sexual intentions to the deputies, authorities have said.

He told detectives at the time of his long history of traveling the country seeking horse owners willing to let him have sex with their animals, the sheriff's department said. It was not immediately clear if he has ever been successful.

(Editing by Curtis Skinner and Matthew Lewis)