Recently there has been an emerging national trend toward recognizing limited animal rights on the estate planning front, but a Michigan appeals court has taken a traditional view of the law concerning a man convicted of sodomizing a sheep.
Jeffrey Scott Haynes, 45, a habitual offender who is serving a 2½- to 20-year prison term for sodomy will not have to register as a sex offender once he is released. As outrageous as his conduct was, a three-judge panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals described it as his “abominable and detestable crime against nature,” the victimized sheep doesn’t qualify as an “individual” under state law. The court said the sheep was the “object” of Haynes’ crime, but held that he would have had to commit a crime against a human being to qualify for the sex offender registry, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The prosecution had persuaded the trial court that Haynes should be required to register, the Calhoun County prosecutor, said this week that the “the activity involved exemplifies a dangerous and deviant behavior that ought to fall under the registry requirements.” But the appellate court ofund the lack of a human victim compelling.
Although Haynes has previously been convicted of home invasion, forgery and uttering and publishing, he apparently doesn’t have any prior sex convictions. He was reportedly convicted of sodomizing the sheep based on DNA evidence after a Bedford Township farmer found him trespassing several years ago and noticed an injured sheep. No information as to whether the farmer will seek damages in a civil suit was mentioned.