Crime

Man who had sex with horse sentenced to four months in jail

Robert E. Carr, here appearing in Whatcom Superior Court on Oct. 9, 2015, in Bellingham, Wash., was sentenced July 1, 2016, to four months in jail on one count of first-degree animal cruelty and one count of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.
Robert E. Carr, here appearing in Whatcom Superior Court on Oct. 9, 2015, in Bellingham, Wash., was sentenced July 1, 2016, to four months in jail on one count of first-degree animal cruelty and one count of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. pdwyer@bhamherald.com

A man who admitted to having sex with his horse in Whatcom County will spend four months behind bars and cannot own horses again.

Robert Edward Carr, 43, was sentenced Friday, July 1, in Whatcom Superior Court.

Carr was charged with three counts of first-degree animal cruelty in October. But in a deal to require Carr to register as a sex offender, he pleaded guilty in May to reduced charges of one count of first-degree animal cruelty and one count of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes, said Eric Richey, the prosecuting attorney.

An April 2016 case in which Carr was charged with child molestation was dismissed in May after the judge deemed the victim incompetent to testify in that case.

According to court papers, Carr admitted to police in September 2015 that he had intercourse with one of his horses, a mare named Thistle, five or six times between August 2013 and September 2015. The Whatcom Humane Society seized the horses in October.

Seth Emmet Haynes, 20, also was charged with animal cruelty in the horse abuse. His case is still pending.

In court Friday, Carr’s parents, wife and niece urged Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis to give Carr a lenient sentence.

“He feels sick that this has happened and that he’s affected our family and he wants to get help and he has been getting help,” said Michelle Carr, Robert Carr’s wife, adding that he gave up his horses voluntarily before a court ordered him to do so. “I don’t see anything that is saying he’s going to go back and do this again. ... I see a very contrite man.”

Carr, who has no prior record, said he had “created a total embarrassment” and financial hardships for his family. He added that his employer is trying to keep Carr’s position open until he can return to work.

The sentence Montoya-Lewis issued matched Richey’s recommendation. The standard sentencing range for both charges is three to eight months.

Montoya-Lewis told Carr that she thought his “true participation” in court-mandated treatment would be more productive than an additional four months behind bars.

Carr will not be able to own horses again. He also will not be allowed to own any animals during his Department of Corrections supervision after he’s released. That supervision could last for up to a year, Richey said.

Carr must remain registered as a sex offender for the next 10 years, Richey said.

The charges in separate cases against Carr were corrected July 6, 2016.

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