Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sneak or Snake Attack?

Two Wisconsin men plead not guilty to sexually assaulting woman with snake

Dan Holtz
Eau Claire Leader-Telegram

Two men accused of sexually assaulting a 32-year-old woman with a live snake have pleaded not guilty.

John D. Bullock, 24, of Altoona, and Damonta D. Jones, 25, of Eau Claire, entered the pleas Monday in Eau Claire County Court.

Each is charged with a felony count of first-degree sexual assault. A two-day jury trial starting March 31 was scheduled. They remain in the Eau Claire County Jail on $30,000 cash bails.

According to the criminal complaint:

The woman told police she was at Jones' residence in the early morning hours of Nov. 11 with Jones, Bullock and two friends. The group was drinking alcohol and dancing.

At one point one of the friends left the residence while the second went to take a shower. Jones then invited the woman into a bedroom to see his children's pictures.

When she walked into the bedroom, the woman said she was struck in the head with an unknown object and thrown on the floor before blacking out.

The woman said the next thing she remembered was Jones holding her while Bullock sexually assaulted her.

Jones then said, "I'm going to get the snake," and the woman said it was used to sexually assault her.

She also believes the snake may have bitten her because she felt a sharp pain.

Bullock told police he had sexual contact with the woman but that it was consensual.

The snake was not questioned by police but was sequestered in the property room pending trial.

Representatives of PETA, the animal rights organization, have been picketing the jail demanding the release of the snake, which they said could not be charged under U.S. criminal law because the snake is not a natural person or a U.S. citizen, which is incorrect according to a lawyer standing outside the jail waiting for the appearance of Amanda Blake, a U.S. Gold Medal Olympic champion swimmer, animal rights activist, and a spokesperson and nude photo poser for PETA who has threatened to strip in front of the jail if the snake is not immediately released, according to unreliable sources not familiar with Ms. Blake, PETA, the Eau Claire Police Department or the facts of the case.

What is known about the sequestered snake, from an ornithologist being held for failure to pay child support, is that it is a rare Black Blood Python that recently escaped or was stolen from the Milwaukee Zoo. Attorneys for the Zoo have filed a petition in repleven demanding that the snake be returned to its lawful owner, the Milwaukee Zoo.

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