As you read through the columns of headlines every day, there's always an odd story or two that stands out, like yesterday's about the invention of a musical shirt. But this one is so far off the map, it's somewhere on that tropical island in Lost: "Man Has Sex with Dead Deer." That alone would suffice, but the story contains several surprises.
A man is accused of having sex with the carcass of a deer that he found lying beside the road – but his lawyer denies that he committed bestiality, on the grounds that a dead deer isn't an animal any more.

20-year-old Bryan James Hathaway of Superior, Wisconsin allegedly had sex with the deer corpse after he found it on the roadside on October 11 this year. Authorities say he told police that he noticed the deer lying in a ditch, and then moved the corpse into the woods.

He is charged with 'sexual gratification with an animal' – but in a magnificent piece of legal footwork, his attorney argues that he can't be guilty of that crime, because a carcass isn't an animal, the Duluth News Tribune reports.
In an act of titanic understatement, the paper's headline reads, "Deer assault case presents unusual issues."
Public defender Fredric Anderson filed a motion last week which claimed: 'The statute does not prohibit one from having sex with a carcass.'

He said that if you try to include corpses in the category of 'animals', then 'you really go down a slippery slope with absurd results.'
As if we haven't gotten lost in that territory already.
The only clear place to draw a line in the definition of what is an animal, and what isn't, was at the point of death, he argued.

He gave the example of a roast turkey – with which it would be illegal to have sex under the braoder interpretation of the law – claiming that it was unreasonable to suggest it should still be classified as an animal for the purposes of law.
And isn't this what makes law more fun than science? In law, anything is possible for those who believe.
In response, prosecutor James Broughner argued that a deer carcass is still an animal – pointing out that in his statement to police, Hathaway called the corpse a 'dead deer,' demonstrating that he still thought of it as an animal.
Ah, but he didn't say "animal," he said "deer." Who knows what "deer" could mean "for purposes of law." Personally, I when I hear "deer," I think "cuisinart."
Judge Michael Lucci noted when hearing the arguments that: 'I'm a little surprised this issue hasn't been tackled before in another case.'
Say whaaa? I'm pretty jaded; I've heard of or seen some really bizarre and unwelcome practices--even outside of John Ashcroft's boudoir. But even in my farthest reaching comic moment, the possibility of people fucking dead animals has never occured to me. Just what sort of legal world does this judge inhabit? Does it overlap with an emergency room? What Rick-Santorum-level of bizarre shit do lonely Minnesotans partake in? Can it be filmed and sold overseas?
If Hathaway is convicted, he could serve up to two years in prison, because of a previous conviction in 2005 for shooting dead a horse called Bambrick. So that he could have sex with it.
Count that as one more thing I hadn't considered. How, exactly, does one come to such a fetish? How do you find out you've got it? Are trudging through the woods one day, on the cusp of puberty, and see a dead dog and get sprung?

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