Cleveland man charged in first criminal case under Ohio’s bestiality law makes first court appearance

February 1, 2018 GMT

Cleveland man charged in first criminal case under Ohio’s bestiality law makes first court appearance

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cleveland man believed to be the first person charged under Ohio’s anti-bestiality law made his first court appearance on Wednesday.

Scott Turner, 48, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the second-degree misdemeanor charge of having sexual contact with an animal.

He was released after posting $2,500. His case is assigned to Cleveland Municipal Judge Michelle Earley and a pretrial is scheduled for Feb. 5. He is being represented by a public defender.

The new law went into effect on March 21. That charge carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail.


Turner was taking care of a woman’s dog, named Athena, on May 13 when he gave the dog oral sex, Cleveland Animal Protection League President Sharon Harvey previously said.

Turner wrote a letter admitting what he did. Harvey declined to say who received the letter. But that letter was turned over to APL investigators, Harvey said. Turner admitted to APL investigators that he wrote the letter and abused the dog, according to court records.

He was charged in the case on Sept. 21 and issued a summons to appear in court but didn’t do so until Wednesday, court records say.

Turner was released from prison in 2015 after serving 12 years and eight months in prison, according to state prison records.

Turner on July 25, 2003 was babysitting five boys between the ages of 6 and 12 when he paid a 9-year-old boy $1 to fondle another boy while he watched.

Police investigated the case and later learned that he had also performed a sex act on a 9-year-old boy while they watched a pornographic video in 2002, according to court records.

Investigators also found that Turner repeatedly sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl and had attacked her as many as 10 times.

In the three cases, Turner pleaded guilty to 16 counts of rape, including six with sentencing enhancements for being a violent sexual predator, 11 counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, five counts of kidnapping with sexual motivation, five counts of importuning three counts of compelling prostitution, three counts of complicity to gross sexual imposition and one count of gross sexual imposition.

Turner must register his address with the county sheriff every 90 days for the rest of his life. He is on post-prison release supervision until September 2020.

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