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Marion man, on probation for donkey sex, charged with theft

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 13, 2013 at 10:03 AM

OCALA — A Marion County man on probation for sexual activity with a miniature donkey has returned to jail on theft charges.

The Ocala Star-Banner (http://tinyurl.com/avdnlpo) reports that 32-year-old Carlos Romero, a farmhand, was arrested for criminal mischief and grand theft.

Late Thursday night, Romero was arrested by Ocala officers after officials had obtained two arrest warrants stemming from Florida Northern Railroad employees saying someone had stolen 16 train batteries valued at $10,880.

The batteries were later recovered from a recycling company after officials there told police Romero had brought the items in for scrap and he was paid $161.46.

He appeared in court Saturday and said he would fight the new charges. He admitted to stealing four train batteries.

Last month, Romero accepted a plea deal for a year of probation and a $200 fine, avoiding jail at the time for pleading guilty to sexual activity with a miniature donkey named Doodle.

Late last year, Romero's public defenders filed a motion asking a judge to have the state law banning "zoophilia" overturned as unconstitutional, according to the Ocala newspaper.

The motion, filed Dec. 6, claimed the law was based on moral objection, that authorities could not prove the animal was injured and that there was no proof "of the sexual activity being non-consensual."

Romero was arrested in September and charged with misdemeanor sexual activity after a witness reported seeing him with his pants down and "up against the rear" of a female miniature donkey named Doodle, investigators said.

Romero later told investigators that he gets sexually aroused around animals more so than humans, the newspaper reported. He also said "people frown on zoophilia" in Florida.

According to the newspaper, Romero's challenge stated that the law against sexual activity with animals infringed on his rights and violated the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause. The motion also said the sentence for a conviction, a year in jail, was excessive.

In October, Romero turned down a plea agreement in which he would have received probation, $200 fine and psychological treatment. He would also be barred from contact with children and mammals.

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