It's now illegal in Ohio for people to engage in sexual conduct or related acts with animals; the state didn't have anti-bestiality laws until the change took effect last week, the AP reports. According to the Dayton Daily News, the measure gained enough votes to pass in December when it was incorporated into a bill that bars local jurisdictions from raising the minimum wage or regulating pet stores. Offenders could face up to 90 days in jail and have the animal seized and impounded. They also could be ordered to undergo psychological evaluation or counseling. "It's a crime that defies explanation to the rational person," said Mark Kumpf, director of the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center. "We're dealing with a different species."
Most states have laws prohibiting sexual conduct with animals. Eight states don't, along with Washington, DC. "We don't want Ohio to be the place you can come and have sex with an animal," said Rep. Jim Hughes, who co-sponsored the anti-bestiality measure. There's also some concern among law enforcement about links between such acts and other crimes. A Virginia police detective who has spent years focused on internet crimes against children said he's seen links between bestiality and child sex abuse. "I found that people who were engaged in crimes against children were also engaged in sexual crimes against animals," detective Jeremy Hoffman said. (Read more bestiality stories.)