Updated: Friday, 14 Jan 2011, 9:27 AM CST
Published : Thursday, 13 Jan 2011, 1:06 PM CST
MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) - A Mobile County man accused of raping a miniature horse went before a Mobile County judge Thursday for a preliminary hearing. Through his attorney, Eric Easley waived his right to have a hearing and the case was automatically forwarded to a grand jury for consideration.
The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office arrested the 27-year-old for raping a miniature horse in 2010. Investigators said they found his wallet near the scene of the crime.
Easley was charged with animal cruelty and disabling livestock.
“The animal was evaluated and we found evidence of abuse," said Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Wright.
In the Code of Alabama, cruelty to animals is considered a misdemeanor while disabling livestock is a felony.
The owner of the horse, Pat Foster, said the nature of the crime concerns her.
"It's sick and sad. The miniature horse doesn't weigh but 125 pounds. She is very tiny. Two and a half feet tall," said Foster, who watched the proceeding. "It's forcing brutality on something that doesn't deserve it."
But Easley's defense attorney, Bob Clark, said what prosecutors say what happened doesn't make sense.
"Do you know a horse psychologist, psychiatrist? Do you know anyone who communicates with a horse?" asked Clark.
Clark did tell the court Easley is getting counseling. He declined to give details about that counseling and he would not say how it will affect the outcome of the case.
The fact Easley is getting help is encouraging news for Foster.
"I want it to turn out good for him. I want him to learn from this so that there will be no other errors are made along this line, whether it will be a child, a woman, or another animal. So I would be thrilled if it has a good outcome," said Foster.
Easley remains free on bond, while the horse continues to recover.
Easley was ordered to continue counseling, as a condition of his bond. If he stops counseling, his bond could be revoked.