SUMAS - A man accused of running a bestiality farm in Sumas was arraigned Friday, Dec. 7, more than two years after the Whatcom County prosecutor said he didn't plan to file charges in local courts.
Prosecutors hope a new conviction will ban Douglas B. Spink, 41, from ever owning animals again.
Until now, Spink had not been tried in Whatcom County on allegations of videotaping Stephen Clarke, a British man, having sex with several dogs at a Sumas cabin.
Spink has been in prison since 2010, after videos recovered from his home in the 5000 block of Reese Hill Road showed Clarke having sexual contact with a Great Dane, a mastiff and a German shepherd. At least three videos showed the dogs having anal sex with Clarke.
The tapes also caught Spink carrying on conversations with Clarke - while Clarke was having sex with the dogs - about the animals' sexual prowess, according to the new charges.
Four stallions, seven large-breed male dogs and a cage full of 13 mice, each coated in a lubricant, also were recovered from the Reese Hill home.
Clarke was found guilty of abusing animals, given a 30-day jail sentence and deported.
Spink, however, was not charged with violating Washington's animal cruelty law. Instead, because of a past conviction for trafficking millions of dollars in cocaine, a federal judge found him guilty of probation violations for associating with criminals, telling lies in monthly reports and travelling without permission.
Whatcom County Prosecutor Dave McEachran chose not to prosecute Spink in 2010. At the time, he wrote: "We do not have the resources to repetitively prosecute people for the same crimes that they have been held responsible for in different jurisdictions."
So Spink was shocked to find a warrant for his arrest was issued last month, days before his release from federal prison. He was transferred to Whatcom County Jail and charged with three counts of animal cruelty. He has since posted $5,000 bond.
Deputy Prosecutor Eric Richey said that with the new charge, he's seeking to ban Spink for life from owning animals.
In a courthouse hallway Friday, Spink said the facts of the case were "highly contested" and he plans to tell the press his side of the story in writing sometime next week. More important, he said, he disputes and intends to challenge Washington's bestiality law.
The law was passed in 2006 after a man was impaled and died while having sex with a horse in a high-profile case in Enumclaw. The death and ensuing controversy compelled legislators to explicitly ban sex with animals. It's now a class C felony.
Several times Spink referred to the law as a "witch hunt."
"I reject the bigotry behind the statute," he said.
Spink added that he suspects some of his former animals were euthanized after they were seized from his home. According to him, that negates the idea the Whatcom Humane Society was trying to protect them.
Laura Clark, society director, said the mice were, in fact, euthanized, but said all the horses and dogs were given new homes. As far as Clark knows, they are still alive.
Two horses were returned to former owners after drawn-out legal battles. Two other horses were transferred to Hope For Horses, a rescue program in Snohomish County. The dogs were neutered, rehabilitated and given new identities for safety reasons.
"While it may be a bit overdue, we want justice to be served for these animals," Laura Clark said. "This case boils down to good versus evil."
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