A Pennsylvania judge pondered a very unusual question during a ruling issued Monday: When a former police officer stuck his male member in the mouths of five baby cows, did they enjoy “suckling” it, or were they merely “puzzled”?
“During a bizarre hearing there yesterday, a Superior Court judge dismissed animal-cruelty charges against a Moorestown police officer accused of sticking his penis into the mouths of five calves in rural Southampton in 2006, claiming a grand jury couldn’t infer whether the cows had been ‘tormented’ or ‘puzzled’ by the situation or even irritated that they’d been duped out of a meal,” reported Jason Nark with the Philadelphia Daily News.
Weighing the case, Judge James J. Morley reportedly asked: “If the cow had the cognitive ability to form thought and speak, would it say, ‘Where’s the milk? I’m not getting any milk’?”
Equating the act of putting a penis in the mouth of a cow with a human baby suckling on a pacifier, the judge reportedly added: “They [children] enjoy the act of suckling. Cows may be of a different disposition.”
The strained logic of such questions eventually led the judge to waive charges of animal cruelty against Robert Melia, a suspended officer with the Moorestown Police Department.
Because bestiality is not illegal where the officer committed the acts, Melia was only charged with animal cruelty, leading the judge to determine what exactly constitutes cruelty in this case. While prosecutors called the act “a crime against nature,” Melia’s lawyer applauded the judge for sticking close to the letter of the law.
“I’m not saying it’s OK,” the judge said, according to the New York Daily News. “This is a legal question for me. It’s not a questions of morals. It’s not a question of hygiene. It’s not a question of how people should conduct themselves.”
“Everybody can laugh and think this is funny, but he never should have been charged in the first place,” Melia’s lawyer said in a Philly.com story. “A lot of judges will reach conclusions because it’s the ruling they want to make. Morley tries to get it right and calls it like he sees it.”
Melia and Heather Lewis, his girlfriend, are also facing charges of sexually assaulting three young girls while Melia was a patrolman. Philly.com added that Lewis is additionally charged with the sexual assault of a young male.
The owner of the cows, the Daily News added, was very upset at the ruling.
‘The president isn’t above the law’: Supreme Court expected to rule on two key Trump cases on Thursday
Can Donald Trump refuse to hand over his financial records to Congress and New York prosecutors simply because he is president of the United States? The Supreme Court will rule Thursday on two related cases to answer this, with potentially widespread political implications.
The decision by the nine justices could lift the veil on Trump's finances ahead of the November 3 election.
Unlike all of his predecessors since Richard Nixon in the 1970s, New York real estate mogul Trump refused to release his tax returns, despite promising to do so during his 2016 White House campaign.
Trump made his fortune a key component of that campaign, and his lack of transparency raises questions about his true worth and possible conflicts of interest.
Australia offers safe haven to Hong Kongers, sparking China fury
Australia offered pathways to permanent residency for thousands of people from Hong Kong on Thursday in response to China's crackdown on dissent, drawing a furious reply from Beijing.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his government was suspending its extradition agreement with the city and, in addition to extending the visas of 10,000 Hong Kongers already in the country, threw open the door to thousands more wanting to start a new life Down Under.
Morrison said the decisions were taken in response to China's imposition last week of a tough new security law in Hong Kong, which he said "constitutes a fundamental change of circumstances" for the semi-autonomous territory.
‘Glee’ star Naya Rivera missing, feared drowned
"Glee" star Naya Rivera is missing and feared drowned at a California lake, local officials said, with rescuers to continue a search for her on Thursday.
The Ventura County Sheriff's office earlier tweeted it was looking for a "possible drowning victim" at the lake, and said a dive team was being deployed to the area.
Rivera, 33, is best known for her role as high school cheerleader Santana Lopez in "Glee", the TV series that she starred in for six seasons.
She rented a boat on Wednesday to take her four-year-old son onto Lake Piru, northwest of Los Angeles, local media cited the County Sheriff as saying.