WJI is taking a look at justice-related bills adopted during the 2019-20 session.
Act 162 makes felonies out of various ways of having or watching or recording human sexual contact with other types of animals. Prohibited conduct includes, according to the Legislative Council:
The penalties vary, depending on the act, whether it was a first offense, and whether the animal was injured. The least serious maximum penalty is up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine; the most serious is up to 25 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
The new law also requires the offender to register as a sex offender. The sentencing court must also prohibit the offender from working with or owning animals for five to 15 years after release from incarceration.
The law was introduced as Senate Bill 139. Its companion bill was Assembly Bill 152. The lead authors of SB 139 were State Senators Andre Jacque (R-DePere) and Fred Risser (D-Madison). The lead sponsors of AB 152 were State Representatives Chuck Wichgers (R-Muskego) and Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls).
Gov. Tony Evers signed the bill into law on March 3.
No fiscal estimates were filed.
Jacque – As with other forms of animal abuse, bestiality overlaps significantly with violence perpetrated against humans, including domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. A study of 44,000 adult sex offenders found that prior sexual abuse of animals is the number one behavioral predictor for sexual abuse of a child, and individuals who sexually abuse animals are very frequently violent, predatory sex offenders who share many common traits with pedophiles. A number of websites have been used frequently to facilitate animal sexual abuse, which is why the PAW Act makes it illegal to advertise, offer, sell, transfer or purchase an animal with the intent for it to be used for sexual contact, or to photograph or film a person engaged in sexual contact with an animal, or to possess or distribute such materials....
Wisconsin Federated Humane Societies – As compassionate humane beings, we would like to think that animal sex abuse occurs rarely in our society. Unfortunately, this crime is on the rise as animal sexual abusers easily network on the internet and through social media....
Registering for the bill: Badger State Sheriffs' Association, The Humane Society of the United States, League of Humane Voters-Wisconsin, Wisconsin Companion Animal Network, Wisconsin Federated Humane Societies., Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project, Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association, Wisconsin State Horse Council, Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association
Registering against the bill: No one
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