SWEETWATER COUNTY — As growing rumors continue to spread on various social media platforms, the sheriff’s office today confirmed that its detectives continue to actively investigate at least one alleged incident of a man trespassing on private property to engage in sex acts with horses.
Near the end of June, a sheriff’s deputy took initial report of suspected criminal trespass from a reporting party who owns horse corrals in the unincorporated Northpark neighborhood north of Rock Springs.
The property owner told the deputy that they chained and locked the gate in a certain way when leaving their corral at night. When the owner returned to the corral the next day, they noticed the gate was chained differently. Given the suspicious circumstance, they set up a trail camera to surveil their corral. Days later, after reviewing photographs captured on the trail camera, the owners discovered someone entering the corral and apparently engaging in sex acts with their horses.
Detectives have since identified and interviewed the man in the photographs, who has admitted to trespassing and to initiating sexual activities with two different horses, including having sexual intercourse with a mare and digitally penetrating a foal.
Investigators are withholding the man’s identity as formal charges have not yet been filed.
“While shocking, this is actually a very difficult case,” explained sheriff’s office spokesperson Jason Mower.
“Wyoming is only one of a handful of states across the country without a bestiality statute on the books. Also, to satisfy the elements of a cruelty to animals charge, it’s our understanding that we would need to prove that the suspect’s actions in this case actually injured the animals.”
The investigation remains active and ongoing as detectives believe other horses in the area may have also been targeted. Authorities are also investigating a possible assault related to the case when property owners allegedly confronted the suspect.
The unique potential legal challenges of this particular case notwithstanding, Mower said his agency’s focus and top priority remains keeping people safe and protecting their property, and that the sheriff’s office is committed to doing everything they can in accordance with law to accomplish that mission.
Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact Detective Matt Wharton by phone at (307) 922-5345.