Carlos R. Romero, accused of sexual activity involving animals after being found in a compromising position with his donkey Doodle – a female miniature donkey named Doodle, has decided to challenge the Florida law banning donkey-sex.
Romero, rejected plea offers from the State Attorney’s Office and has decided to take the matter to trial. Jury selection is about to begin on Monday.
Romero’s attorneys have filed a motion in Marion County court on Dec. 6 challenging the Florida law that bans sexual activity with animals, calling the statute unconstitutional. The assistant public defenders on the case, Joshua Wyatt, Scott Schmidt and Joshua Lukman have submitted that the statute infringes upon Romero’s due process rights and violates the Fourteenth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution.
The public defenders have also alleged that the designated punishment for sex with animals, considered a first-degree misdemeanor, that amounts to a year in county jail is cruel and unusual punishment, and also excessive.
Attorneys for the indignant Romero have claimed that the statute deprives their client of his “personal liberty and autonomy when it comes to private intimate activities.”
The attorneys further wrote in the motion to declare the law unconstitutional: “By making sexual conduct with an animal a crime, the statute demeans individuals like Defendant (Romero) by making his private sexual conduct a crime.”
The attorneys have claimed that the statute penalizing sex with animals is also unconstitutional on another count – in that it does not require “any proof of the sexual activity being non-consensual,” or does not create any duty for the state to prove that the animal was harmed or injured.
The motion asked, “Therefore, the only possible rational basis for the statute is a moral objection to sexual acts considered deviant or downright ‘disgusting,’? … The personal morals of the majority, whether based on religion or traditions, cannot be used as a reason to deprive a person of their personal liberties.”
The attorneys claim that the statute might have had a rational basis and legitimate state interest had it made punishable sexual conduct with animals that was nonconsensual or that inflicted pain or injury on the animal. But instead of that, the statute does not provide any reason for banning zoophilic acts, and is therefore irrational.