ASSEMBLY, No. 3012

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MARCH 24, 2014

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  JACK M. CIATTARELLI

District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset)

Assemblyman  RONALD S. DANCER

District 12 (Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman Simon and Assemblyman Giblin

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Criminalizes bestiality.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning bestiality and amending R.S.4:22-17.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    R.S.4:22-17 is amended to read as follows:

     Cruelty; certain acts, crime; degrees.

     4:22-17.      a.  It shall be unlawful to:

     (1)   Overdrive, overload, drive when overloaded, overwork, abuse, or needlessly kill a living animal or creature;

     (2)   Cause or procure, by any direct or indirect means, including but not limited to through the use of another living animal or creature, any of the acts described in paragraph (1) of this subsection to be done;

     (3)   Inflict unnecessary cruelty upon a living animal or creature, by any direct or indirect means, including but not limited to through the use of another living animal or creature; or leave the living animal or creature unattended in a vehicle under inhumane conditions adverse to the health or welfare of the living animal or creature; or

     (4)   Fail, as the owner or as a person otherwise charged with the care of a living animal or creature, to provide the living animal or creature with necessary care.

     b.  (1)  A person who violates subsection a. of this section shall be guilty of a disorderly persons offense.  Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:43-3 to the contrary, for every conviction of an offense pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection a. of this section, the person shall be fined not less than $250 nor more than $1,000, or be imprisoned for a term of not more than six months, or both, in the discretion of the court; and for every conviction of an offense pursuant to paragraph (3) or (4) of subsection a. of this section, the person shall be fined not less than $500 nor more than $2,000, or be imprisoned for a term of not more than six months, or both, in the discretion of the court.

     (2)   If the person who violates subsection a. of this section has a prior conviction for an offense that would constitute a violation of subsection a. of this section, the person shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

     (3)   A person who violates subsection a. of this section shall also be subject to the provisions of subsections e. and f. and, if appropriate, subsection g., of this section.

     c.    It shall be unlawful to purposely, knowingly, or recklessly:

     (1)   Torment, torture, maim, hang, poison, unnecessarily or cruelly beat, cruelly abuse, or needlessly mutilate a living animal or creature;

     (2)   Cause bodily injury to a living animal or creature by failing to provide the living animal or creature with necessary care, whether as the owner or as a person otherwise charged with the care of the living animal or creature; [or]

     (3)   Cause or procure an act described in paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection to be done, by any direct or indirect means, including but not limited to through the use of another living animal or creature; or

     (4)   Use, or cause or procure the use of, an animal or creature in any kind of sexual manner or initiate any kind of sexual contact with the animal or creature, including, but not limited to, sodomizing the animal or creature.  As used in this paragraph, “sexual contact” means any contact between a person and an animal by penetration of the penis or a foreign object into the vagina or anus, contact between the mouth and genitalia, or by contact between the genitalia of one and the genitalia or anus of the other.  This term does not include any medical procedure performed by a licensed veterinarian practicing veterinary medicine or an accepted animal husbandry practice.

     d. (1) A person who violates paragraph (1), (2), [or] (3) or (4) of subsection c. of this section shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree, except that the person shall be guilty of a crime of the third degree if:

     (a)   the animal or creature dies as a result of the violation;

     (b)   the animal or creature suffers serious bodily injury as a result of the violation; or

     (c)   the person has a prior conviction for an offense that would constitute a violation of paragraph (1), (2), [or] (3) or (4) of subsection c. of this section.

     (2)   A person who violates any provision of subsection c. of this section shall also be subject to the provisions of subsections e. and f. and, if appropriate, subsection g., of this section.

     e.    For a violation of this section, in addition to imposing any other appropriate penalties established for a crime of the third degree, crime of the fourth degree, or disorderly persons offense, as the case may be, pursuant to Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, the court shall impose a term of community service of up to 30 days, and may direct that the term of community service be served in providing assistance to the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a county society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or any other recognized organization concerned with the prevention of cruelty to animals or the humane treatment and care of animals, or to a municipality's animal control or animal population control program.

     f.     The court also shall require any violator of this section to pay restitution, including but not limited to, the monetary cost of replacing the animal if the animal died or had to be euthanized because of the extent of the animal's injuries, or otherwise reimburse any costs for food, drink, shelter, or veterinary care or treatment, or other costs, incurred by the owner of the animal, if the owner is not the person committing the act of cruelty, or incurred by any agency, entity, or organization investigating the violation, including but not limited to the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a county society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, any other recognized organization concerned with the prevention of cruelty to animals or the humane treatment and care of animals, a local or State governmental entity, or a kennel, shelter, pound, or other facility providing for the shelter and care of the animal or animals involved in the violation.

     g.    If a juvenile is adjudicated delinquent for an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a disorderly persons offense, crime of the fourth degree, or crime of the third degree pursuant to this section, the court also shall order the juvenile to receive mental health counseling by a licensed psychologist or therapist named by the court for a period of time to be prescribed by the licensed psychologist or therapist.

(cf: P.L.2013, c.88, s.2)

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would criminalize bestiality.  Current animal cruelty law makes it a crime to torture or neglect an animal or creature.  This bill would amend R.S. 4:22-17 to specifically make it a crime to use, or cause or procure the use of, an animal or creature in any kind of sexual manner or initiate any kind of sexual contact with the animal or creature, including, but not limited to, sodomizing the animal or creature.  As used in the bill, “sexual contact” means any contact between a person and an animal by penetration of the penis or a foreign object into the vagina or anus, contact between the mouth and genitalia, or contact between the genitalia of one and the genitalia or anus of the other.  This term does not include any medical procedure performed by a licensed veterinarian practicing veterinary medicine or an accepted animal husbandry practice.

     Under the bill, bestiality would be a crime of the fourth degree except that the person would be guilty of a crime of the third degree if the animal or creature dies as a result of the violation; the animal or creature suffers serious bodily injury as a result of the violation; or the person has a prior conviction for an offense that would constitute animal cruelty under the statute.  A crime of the fourth degree is punishable by up to 18 months imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.  A crime of the third degree is punishable by three to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.