A grisly and bizarre animal cruelty case has come to a close in San Jose, with a serial cat killer sentenced to 16 years in jail. Police say Robert Farmer killed at least 16 cats after stealing and torturing them in 2015. Prosecutors also alleged that he sexually abused at least one of the cats, but the 26-year-old avoided having to register as a sex offender, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. He had pleaded guilty to 21 counts of animal cruelty prior to sentencing. Pet owners celebrated the maximum sentence, though Farmer's attorney says he could be released in about 4 years.
“It’s so hard to grasp I did this,” Farmer wrote in a letter read by his attorney in court, per the Mercury News. "It feels like another man committed these crimes, but I know it was me.” Neighbors in the Cambrian Park community began sharing stories when their cats started disappearing without a trace. Most of the time, the bodies would turn up discarded in dumpsters or elsewhere. Farmer was arrested after being captured on a pet owner's surveillance camera snatching the family's 17-year-old pet from the property. (Read more animal cruelty stories.)