A jury is composed of twelve men of average ignorance. -- Herbert Spencer
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from Alt.sex.bestiality -- revised 8 July, 1995
The church, which until the time of Henry VIII still had jurisdiction over all sexual crimes, issued "Penitential Books" which described in the minutest detail all forbidden sexual acts and the punishment which was attached to them. Some of these books survive in The British Library. They are written in Latin and, according to Rattery Taylor, author of "Sex in History," are so explicit that they would immediately fall foul of the English obscenity laws if published. The five penitential codes contain some 22 paragraphs defining every conceivable form of Sodomy.
Before we go on to looking at some specific cases, we should look at why the church was so keen to seek out practitioners of un- natural acts, the infamous "crime against nature."
The church, even at this time, was still directly involved in what it saw as the fight against superstition and Paganism. Much use was still made of spells and curses, potions containing the penises and testicles of bulls and horses were widely believed to have magical, rather than medical, powers to improve a man's potency, or to win over a shy virgin.
Many of these beliefs were handed down from pre-Christian religions in which the sexual union of human and beast were part of their animistic rites. There were certainly very active horse cults both in Ireland and the Nordic Lands which persisted well into the fifth century.
Within living memory, a hangover from these times was still practised in Iceland. The stallion fight, although no one would suggest it has retained it's original meaning, was still to be seen at the turn of the century. It consisted of two stallions fighting over an in-season mare in the middle of a large arena. The winner then favoured the mare with as many coverings as he could manage before the next pair came in to the arena for the entertainment of the crowd.
It is easy to see that this display of masculine strength and
sexual potency was originally a way of selecting the best beast
to be offered in sacrifice to the gods. The interested reader
may wish to know that such stallion fights are still practised
publicly in the Phillipines.
We will now go on to a few of the reported cases. We must remember here that Europe was completely dependent on agriculture and opportunities were avilable to all and taken by many more than were ever caught. In winter, the animals lived in the lower part of the house and the people in the upper part in order that the animals could provide a rudimentary form of heating and be safe from hungry wolves. It is easy to imagine a lonely farmer choosing to warm himelf by seeking "body warmth" from his horse.
In many non-European cultures, sexual acts between humans and animals were never taboo. They were, for instance, not punished or even considered socialy unacceptable among Hopi Indians and Kupfer Eskimos in America or among the Kusaia and Masai Tribes in Africa. Indeed, it has been reported that Masai adolescents frequently used donkeys as a sexual outlet. In Peru, Dr. Francisco Guerra found that no less than six percent of the jugs used by the native indians contained bestiality motives, as opposed to the three percent which depicted homosexuality. The rest were concerned with hetrosexual sex cts, oral, anal, etc..
In 1468, one Monsieur Jean Beisse was convicted of copulating with a cow and a goat. Jean, the cow and the goat were all burned at the stake.
In 1601, 16 year old Caudine de Culam was convicted of intercourse with a dog. Both were hanged and their bodies burned.
November 1607, a young boy convicted and hanged for copulating with a mare. The mare was killed at the foot of the gallows with a poleaxe.
In 1649, M. Vijon burned for having sex with a bird.
In Pilgrim Father's Plymouth Colony a divorce law enacted in 1639 mentions bestiality specifically as a ground for divorce.
Cotton Mather in his book "The history of New England," written at the end of the seventeenth century, describes how a Weymouth man, who had been a lifelong Sodomist, was first made to watch as 3 sheep, 2 sows, 2 heifers and a cow, all of which had been his sexual partners, were hanged. It seems that in this puritanical world that the animals involved were just as guilty "before God" as the man himself. He was executed in the same manner shortly afterwards.
Another case from New England in the mid-seventeenth century concerns one Thomas Granger, an imbecile from Duxbury. He had copulated with a mare, a cow, 2 goats, five sheep, 2 calves and a turkey. He ended up on the gallows of course.
For a first class demonstration of how effective torture can be we turn to a man who admited, under torture, to sodomising a sow, knowing full well that he would hang for it. The evidence was that a piglet had a human appearence, and "a flecked eye exactly like his...because of this he was suspected and admitted his guilt." It is, of course, an absolute impossibilty for a man to father a pig. We must then assume that the poor man decided that hanging was better than to allow the torture to continue.
A transcript survives of a case in Virginia at about the same time. It appears that one Nathaniel Moore had tied a calf to a tree and performed anal sex with it. It is not recorded whether the beast was a bull or heifer. Robert Wyard, a prosecution witness, gave the following statement:
Saw him buggering the said calf four or five times. In his action Nathaniel had the calf by the tail his yard thrusting into the calf several times, wiping his fingers on the calf's side and wiping it's breech with his hand.
He called his wife over.
Do you see what yonder fellow is doing? Who is it?
It is your servant Nathaniel. What a villain he is.
The two approached very close to the scene and were eventually spotted by our "villain." He had carried on without noticing until they were close enough to see everything clearly. At that time, he had not yet extricated his penis from the animal's rectum.
Villain. What are you doing here?
Nothing. Resting the calf. What should I do?
You villain, you lie, your buggering the calf and we stood looking at you. Villain, you have done enough to be hanged.
Nathaniel was found guilty of sodomy. The witness does seem to behaved rather oddly though. Not only does he not call out to this "Villain," but he goes in closer and watches quietly until discovered. Could it be that he wanted to watch?
At this time many cases of bestiality came to light. Women were a scarce commodity to the first settlers in the new world. The rape of a woman would mean a living witness and certain execution. The rape of an animal that can not speak was, on the other hand, a relatively safe way of releasing sexual tensions, assuming that there were no observers around!
In 1683, Denmark passed a law making both homosexuality and bestiality punishable by burning. In 1711, it was decided that those convicted should be garroted as well as burned.
In England in 1821, the law read: "Any person, who commits the crime of sodomy, either with a man, or with any animal, and is found guilty, will be put to death." The sentence was always death of course, but as the presence of semen in the animal had to be proven to get a conviction until this date, many of those charged had to be released. In order to raise the conviction/hanging rate, the evidence required was changed so that it was no longer necessary "to prove ejaculation, rather intercourse shall be deemed to have occured if penetration has occured."
If no penetration had occured but a witness observed someone "attempting" to copulate with an animal, the sentence was 10 years.
The law was revised in 1861 and the sentence reduced to life imprisonment. This law remains to this day!
In August, 1888, a Mr. Vizetelly was prosecuted for publishing obscene literature. He pleaded not guilty. The book in question was a translation of Emile Zola's "La Terre"--"The Land"--now accepted as a literary masterpiece the world over. During the tria the jury were so visibly shocked by one of the quotations which was read out in court that Vitzetelly was advised to change his plea to Guilty. The passage in question is so beautifully written that I quote it in full:
"Carefully, as though undertaking something of great importance, she stepped quickly forward with pursed lips and set face; concentration made her eyes seem even darker. She had to reach right across with her arm as she grasped the bull's penis firmly in her hand and lifted it up. And when the bull felt that he was near the edge, he gathered his strength and, with one single thrust of his loins, pushed his penis right in. Then it came out again."
The defendant was fined 250. 3 months later, he was again on trial for selling Zola translations and served 3 months in prison.
"One E, aged 35, a labourer, who was sentenced by the 8th Tribuneral Correctionel of the Seine to three months imprisonment for an outrage on public decency."
He was accused of having committed acts of bestiality on fowls.
These acts had occurred at a lodging-house keeper's in the Rue des Gravalliers. This man had found one of his fowls dead. He observed E, one of his lodgers, and surprised him at the moment the act was being consummated. The fowl was injured and E had feathers and traces of blood upon his dress." (Tardieu Attentats aux Moers.)
Men and Dogs - curious Observations It is not unusual to see our judges sentencing prisoners who have been caught in the very act of bestiality in public places.
Thus, a Chambre Correctionelle of Paris, on Jan 5th 1880, condemned to four months' imprisonment and a fine of 16 francs, and old man of 74, who was arrested on the 2nd of the month in a urinal, in Rue Publa, at the moment when, having introduced his penis into the jaws of a large Newfoundland dog, he was proceeding to manualize the animal.
And another sentence of six months imprisonment and 16 francs was pronounced on one D, born in Paris, married and the father of three children, who was surprised in a urinal on the Boulvard Voltaire, on his knees with a dog between his thighs. The officer who stated the facts, pointed out in his report that, guided by the plaintive cries of an animal, he was induced to enter the urinal, and there arrested the accused whose dress was covered with water. (Pouillet.)
Pouillet's two observations do not acquaint us with the mental condition of the two men caught "in flagrante delicto." In these two cases, the animals played a passive part. It is not the same in the following observation, due to Tardieu, in which the animal, on the contrary plays the active part. It deserves to be quoted in extenso on account of the anatomo-physiological discussion to which it has given rise.
"The third case of bestiality, which gave rise to a quite recent prosecution, was the occasion of a medico-legal report, very new in its object, on the part of a veterinary surgeon, whose latest opinion I reproduce; but I ought previously to give an account of the circumstances in which the act occurred, and those which resulted from the proces-verbal, which follows, and which I quote in extenso.
On April 28th, in the year 1892, we, a commissary of police, from information which we received regarding an outrage against public decency, committed by one N, a surveyor of roads, and learning that every information regarding this loathsome act could be supplied by one L, a labourer, caused the said L, to appear before us and he there stated as follows:
"On the 17 inst., about 10 o'clock in the morning, I was working between the Lacroix and Robert Joly roads. L was employed in cutting withies in the wood not far from me: at this time I wanted to smoke a pipe, and left my work to go and ask L for a match; After going about 50 metres, I heard a rustling in the wood to my left, and I stopped short; the noise still continuing, I turned aside from my original direction and took a few steps forward.
All at once I noticed a dog which I recognized as belonging to M. I advanced a few paces further with much precaution, and I observed the said N, surveyor of roads, with his trousers down and his sexual parts exposed, his body bent with his face towards the ground, his head being turned almost in my direction.
There I saw N and the dog leaning one against the other; N in the above position with his right hand behind his back, caressing the dog and pulling about its genital parts with his fingers; I remained thus as a spectator for several minutes; when the act was consumated, I saw the dog's member coming out of N's fundament.
N then raised his head, and seeing me wanted to set the dog upon me to bite me, several times crying out "Bite him!" I observed to N that the dog was no worse than he, and that I was not afraid of it.
I went away directly, and a few paces from the spot, I met A, and I told him that if I had known that he was so near to me, I should have called to him to let him see the act of which I had just been a witness, and which I hastened to relate to him."
L, aged 16, a labourer, was also heard as a witness in the above affair, and declared as follows:" on April 17th, I was cutting withies in the forest of Rambouillet. About half past nine I saw the said N, surveyor of roads, accompanied by M's dog; I remarked to N that it was fortunate that my father was not there at that moment, or he would not go into the forest with the dog, seeing that it was expressly forbidden; upon this he laughed at me, and disappeared with the dog into the midst of the wood. About a quarter past ten, I heard a dog barking. I left my work to see if the dog were hunting. When I reached the Alle des Chantillons, I saw the said A. When I got near him, he said to me, If I had known that you were so near to me, I should have come to look for you, to let you know something awful, which I have just witnessed."
Here the witness L made word for word the statement as it is written above, related to him by L immediately after the act had been consummated, and adds that since that day the dog cannot leave N.
N, aged 43, surveyor of roads, was questioned on the facts which are alleged against him, and he replied as follows: "On the 17th inst.,about 10 o'clock in the morning, as I was going to my work at a stone quarry situated in the forest, I was accompanied by a large dog belonging to M, a farmer. When I reached the wood, and was in rather a dense spot, and believing myself to be sheltered there from everybody's gaze, I unbuttoned and took down my trousers; I then bent downwards with my face almost against the ground, and presented my posterior to the dog to lick me, which he did. This was done with the intention of allaying the pain caused me by my thighs rubbing together as I walked.
It is no good my laying any further stress upon other points; it is true I was seen in the wood, and in the position which I have just indicated to you by the said L, but what he asserts is only a falsehood."
N was indicted and tried for an outrage on public decency, and was sentenced to a year's imprisonment. The Court of Appeal of Paris, being of the opinion that it had not been established that copulation between the man and the dog took place, but that N had indulged in obscene manoeuvres in public, reduced his sentence to three month imprisonment.
In the course of the pleadings, the following piece of evidence was produced. It deserves to be quoted.
Medico-legal consultation by M. Janet, veterinary surgeon at Rambouillet, May 14th 1872.
Question : Can a dog perform anal copulation upon a man ? No I think not, for the following reasons : 1st, because the penis of the dog has a very special conformation which is only suitable for generation with his own species.
2nd, because its penis, which is very pointed and slender, has an interior bone covered with very sensitive erectile tissue, which, during accoupling, swells considerably, forms a plug inside the vagina, and prevents the dog from withdrawing immediately afterwards, the ejection of the spermatic secretion being very slow, which explains why one often sees dogs and bitches unable to separate, and remaining joined together as long as the erectile tissue has not shrunk nor become soft and flaccid again.
In this painful situation, these poor beasts are very frequently the victims of odious brutalities.
When bitches are on heat, that is to say in a state of extreme excitement through venereal desires, the vaginal opening becomes dilated very easily, and the mucous membranes acquire a great elasticity; it is then that the dog is able to introduce his penis into it, which is very difficult for him when the bitch has returned to her normal state.
How then could the dog, which cannot cover the bitch when she is quiet, on account of contraction and resistance of the vaginal tissues, succeed in introducing his penis into a man's rectum? This appears to me impossible, for the reasons which I have just given, and also for the following physiological reasons, which I will endeavour to make clear.
1st On seeing a man's posterior, I do not think that it is the nature of the dog to feel such venereal desires as on seeing a bitch.
2nd The anatomical constitution of his penis, which is very flexible at its point, does not give enough stiffness for him to introduce it into a man's anus and to overcome the very great resistance of the sphincter, the circular muscle of the anus, the contractility of which is excessively powerful.
3rd The man's buttocks also display a surface large enough to put the dog further away, and to prevent the introduction of the penis, the length of which is diminished in proportion as the internal bone which forms a protuberance, is brought near to the point. In this case only a rubbing of the penis on the skin is possible.
4th The man being on his knees with his hands resting on the ground, facilitating by his position the pederasty of the dog, will never attain his object if the animal, not being very tall, cannot encircle his body with his two forepaws so as to have a solid point of support.
I have acquired the certitude of what I have stated by placing the dog upon a man who was willing to lend himself to the experiment. Placed, kept there, and held up as he was by me, the dog (the same one that appeared int he case) if he had been accustomed to the action, would have been eager to try to satisfy his genesic desires, on the contrary, he showed indifference, did not understand what was asked of him, and tried to get away; he has given us evident proof of unwillingness and innocence.
If, contrary to all physiological estimation, the dog had succeeded in overcoming all the obstacles and in completely introducing his penis into the man's rectum, the effect of the erectile tissue of the bone would immediately have been produced, and caused the enormous natural swelling (as in the bitches vagina during the process of covering) which would have compelled the two creatures to remain stuck together during the entire period of the energetic contraction of the sphincter.
You see here then this most curious picture: the man compelled to remain in the quadruped position, and he on his part, and the dog on his, obliged to pull in order to free themselves from the bond which attaches them; the man unable to get up or stand upright without lifting the dog from the ground, causing himself extreme pain and exposing himself to be dangerously bitten. In this case the monstrosity would be undeniable.
I conclude therefor that the fact of pederasty of the dog with the man is impossible, owing to the anatomical conformation of the one and the penis of the other.
I have made numerous researches in many works, but have not found a single similar case of bestiality.
I should not venture, I confess, to make such a formal pronouncement in the negative. And without wishing to enter here into unnecessary detail, I shall confine myself to recalling the fact that too numerous instances of bestiality have ben positively verified in the case of women of evil life for us to exonerate the canine species of acts similar to that which has just been related (Tardieu)
Dr. Jacobus X. Abuses Aberrations and Crimes of the Genital Sense (1901)
In a suggested change to the law in Switzerland, in 1909, the "crime" of bestiality was deliberately left out.
In 1944, an American soldier was convicted by general court- marshall of sodomy with a cow and sentenced to a dishonourable discharge and 3 years hard labour. The cow was spared, but in England into the 1950's, animals were still sometimes ordered to be destroyed in such cases.
In 1962, Illinois became the first American state to revise it's criminal code along the lines suggested in The Model Penal Code (devised by American Law Institute). Specifically, oral genital contacts, and anal intercourse between consenting adults in private and sexual acts with animals are no longer criminal offenses. Connecticut, New York and Kansas have also made some revisions in this area.
California Penal Code paragraph 286:
Sodomy-Punishment : Every person who is guilty of the infamous crime against nature, committed with mankind or with any animal, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison of not less than one year.
In the Former Eastern (Communist) half of Germany, Bestiality was not an offense. Bestiality ceased to be a crime in West Germany when the law was removed from the "Straf Gesetz Buch" in 1969 due to lack of use.
Sodomistic intercourse with animals has also been removed from the list of criminal sexual offenses in France, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Holland and Russia. Such cases are now dealt with under indecency and animal cruelty regulations and are most unlikely to receive a prison sentence. In those countries such as Great Britain, which have not updated their laws, the penalty is, normally, still life imprisonment, i.e.; the modern equivalent of a death sentence.
In England, a legal precedent has been set which frees any woman
of a sodomy charge if she was acting under coercion.
The Times, December 13th, 1991
"NO EXCUSE FOR DOLPHIN SEX ACT"
An Animal rights campaigner accused of outraging public decency by committing an obscene act with a dolphin might have done so to persuade the animal to prefer him to other swimmers, a court was told yesterday.
David Wood for the prosecution, told Newcastle upon Tyne crown court, that Alan Cooper, aged 38, might have performed the act on Freddie, a 12ft. bottle-nose dolphin, because there was a great deal of competition to swim with the dolphin.
When Mr. Cooper saw a boatload of people approaching, Including Peter Bloom, curator of a dolphinarium, who he particularly disliked, "it may have been tempting to do something which he knew the dolphin would like," Mr. Wood Said. However, the reason for Mr. Cooper's action was irrelevant and he had outraged the boat passengers by going way beyond decent behaviour.
Mr. Cooper, of Gorton, Manchester, denies outraging public decency by masturbating the dolphin off Amble, Northumberland.
Tony Jennings, for Mr. Cooper, said that Mr. Bloom, who prompted the complaints, was a sworn enemy of his client. He said Mr. Bloom had the audacity to condemn Mr. Cooper for the alleged sexual act, yet he had trained dolphins to jump out of the water and remove a bikini top from a woman swimmer for a film sequence.
The trial continues today.
The above case is chiefly of interest because of the charge; "Outraging Public Decency." It should be noted that no cruelty charge could be brought as even the prosecution admits that he was doing "something which he knew the dolphin would like." Indeed, had there been no "public" present to be "outraged" at the event, the charge could not have been brought at all.
That being said, the English legal system is notorious for bringing charges even for sexual acts committed in private. A Conservative MP Harvey Proctor was convicted of "Gross Indecency" for beating male prostitutes with a cane. The beatings were agreed and paid for and took place in private. The case only came to light when one of the prostitutes decided to make even more money by selling the story to one of the more salacious Sunday Tabloids. In a more recent case, the Appeal Court upheld a prison sentence handed down to sado-masochists for assault even though it took place in a private house among consenting adults.
Although the dolphin case is clearly concerned with a human- animal sex act, no charge of Sodomy can be brought under English law for the masturbation of an animal.
This simple fact releases Mr. Cooper from the risk of a long prison sentence because, for the more serious charge of attempted Sodomy -- that is a clear intention to achieve rectal or vaginal penetration with any animal -- carries a ten year maximum sentence. Sodomy, if penetration can be proved "beyond a reasonable doubt," carries a maximum of life imprisonment. Note that ejaculation need not occur.
It should be noted here that dolphins are notoriously randy and there are many reports from trainers and divers of male dolphins masturbating themselves on rubber dinghies or diving suits. They are also one of the select group of mammals, other than man, which engage in sexual intercourse among themselves purely for pleasure.
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