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The 20-year-old Wisconsin man last year charged with having sex with a dead deer has been sentenced to probation and evaluation as a sex offender, Yahoo! reports.

Bryan James Hathaway was cuffed on a "a misdemeanour charge of sexual gratification with an animal". The court case raised some interesting legal issues, since according to the defence, the relevant "crimes against sexual morality" statute prohibits sex with animals, but fails to mention carcasses.

Hathaway's attorney Fredric Anderson filed a motion which argued "because the deer was dead, it was not considered an animal and the charge should be dismissed". He insisted: "The statute does not prohibit one from having sex with a carcass."

This audacious interpretation of the law clearly cut little ice with the courts, because Hathaway earlier this month pleaded no contest to a charge of "misdemeanour mistreatment of an animal". Judge Michael Lucci sentenced him to six months' probabation and ordered him to be "evaluated as a sex offender and treated at the Institute for Psychological and Sexual Health in Duluth, Minnesota".

The judge admitted: "The type of behaviour is disturbing. It's disturbing to the public. It's disturbing to the court."

Hathaway had previously been convicted of a related offence in April 2005, when he pleaded "no contest to one felony charge of mistreatment of an animal for the shooting death of Bambrick, a 26-year-old horse, to have sex with the animal".

Although he received just probation for his latest escapade, local animals can sleep sound in their beds since he attracted a nine-month jail sentence back in February for violating the extended supervision order slapped on him for his equicide outrage. ®

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