Enumclaw horse sex case
The Enumclaw horse sex case was a series of incidents in 2005 involving Kenneth Pinyan (1960–2005), an engineer who worked for Boeing and resided in Gig Harbor, Washington; James Michael Tait, a truck driver; and unidentified other men. Pinyan and Tait filmed and distributed zoophilic pornography of Pinyan receiving anal sex from a stallion under the alias "Mr. Hands". After engaging in this activity on multiple occasions over an unknown span of time, Pinyan received fatal internal injuries in one such incident.
|Date||July 2, 2005|
|Location||unincorporated King County, Washington, United States (near Enumclaw)|
|Cause||Acute peritonitis caused by traumatic perforation of the colon|
|Participants||Kenneth Pinyan (Mr. Hands), James Michael Tait, an unidentified male, and a stallion|
|Deaths||1 (Kenneth Pinyan)|
Pinyan's death rapidly prompted the passing of a bill in Washington prohibiting both sex with animals and the videotaping of such an act. Under current Washington law, bestiality is now a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
In the 1970s, many statutes that had criminalized certain sex acts in various U.S. states were repealed, largely since they had criminalized some consensual sex acts between adults that were no longer considered appropriate to forbid (e.g., criminalizing all oral and anal sex). In Washington State, a law was repealed on July 1, 1976, that had said that
Every person who shall carnally know in any manner any animal or bird, or who shall carnally know any male or female person by the anus or with the mouth or tongue; or who shall voluntarily submit to such knowledge; or who shall attempt sexual intercourse with a dead body, shall be guilty of sodomy ...
An effect of the repeal was that bestiality became legal in the state of Washington.
Kenneth Pinyan had worked for Boeing for eight years. He had previously been married to a woman and had children with her. He had moved from Seattle to Oak Harbor, Washington. Before his death, Pinyan had been building a new house and a barn, in which he planned to keep a horse, along the Key Peninsula Highway in Gig Harbor, Washington. He was about to begin making payments on his 30-year, $144,000 mortgage on it.
Pinyan had previously lost the ability to experience certain sensations after suffering from a motorcycle accident, and he had become involved in increasingly extreme sexual acts, such as insertion of extremely large dildos, fisting, and receptive anal sex with horses. In the early 2000s, he found a group of men online, nicknamed "zoos", who began meeting at a farm in an unincorporated area in King County, Washington, for communal weekends; they filmed, and later posted online, each other being sodomized by horses, along with sometimes having sex with each other afterwards. According to Charles Mudede, co-writer of the 2007 documentary film Zoo, the men trained the horses to penetrate them by stripping, applying a horse breeding pheromone, and bending over. In 2015, Mudede wrote that the men had a sexual fixation on large penises "that may have had nothing to do with horses." He also believed Pinyan did not truly love horses and was not a true zoophile, although Pinyan had a cast created of the penis of his favorite horse, Strut.
The incident that killed Pinyan occurred at a 40-acre (16 ha) farm, located in an unincorporated area in King County, Washington, five miles northwest of the city of Enumclaw. Pinyan, and a man named James Michael Tait (a truck driver who lived in a trailer next to the farm), plus another unidentified man, often visited the farm for sexual purposes. After either Pinyan or the other man recorded Tait being penetrated by a stallion, Tait then filmed Pinyan submitting to the same act. During this incident, Pinyan sustained internal injuries including a perforated colon.
Pinyan was anonymously dropped off at the Enumclaw Community Hospital. On July 2, 2005, a man asked hospital staff for medical assistance for his companion. Pinyan was found dead in the emergency room, aged 45. The man who brought Pinyan into the hospital had disappeared by the time hospital staff came to contact him. According to the Medical Examiner's Office, Pinyan "died of acute peritonitis due to perforation of the colon", and the death was ruled accidental.
After Pinyan died, the authorities used his driver's license to find acquaintances and relatives. Earlier news reports stated that the authorities had used surveillance camera footage to track down Pinyan's companion. Using the contacts, the authorities found the farm where the incident occurred. The police tracked down the rural Enumclaw-area farm, which was known in zoophile Internet chat rooms as a destination for people who wanted to have sex with livestock, and seized hundreds of hours of videotapes of men engaging in bestiality. One of the videotapes featured Kenneth Pinyan shortly before he died on July 2.
It was only after Pinyan died, when law enforcement looked for one way to punish his associates, that the legality of bestiality in Washington State became an issue [...] The prosecutor's office wanted to charge Tait with animal abuse, but the police found no evidence of abused animals on the many videotapes they collected from his home. As there was no law against humanely fucking a horse, the prosecutors could only charge Tait with trespassing.
The prosecutor's office says no animal cruelty charges were filed because there was no evidence of injury to the horses.
Jennifer Sullivan, a Seattle Times staff reporter, said that originally the King County Sheriff's Department did not expect the newspaper to report on the event, because "it was too gruesome." After an Associated Press report stated that the farm where the event occurred attracted "a significant number of people" who wanted to partake in bestiality, the Seattle Times decided that it needed to write articles about the case, since multiple people were involved.
Criminal charges, guilty plea, and sentencingEdit
The photographer, 54-year-old James Michael Tait, was charged with criminal trespassing in the first degree, because the owners of the farm, a third party, were not aware that the men entered the property to engage in bestiality. The third man was not charged since he was not visible in the videos seized by investigators. On November 29, 2005, Tait entered an Alford plea, which is a form of guilty plea in which the accused maintains that they are factually innocent but acknowledges that the evidence would likely lead to conviction and thus accept being convicted. Judge David Christie gave him a suspended one-year sentence, a $300 fine, and one day of community service, and ordered Tait to never visit the farm again.
Mudede wrote that at the time of the incident the residents of Enumclaw were shocked and angered by the incident. In 2015, ten years after the incident, Mudede wrote that Enumclaw residents were unwilling to acknowledge the incident.
2 Guys 1 HorseEdit
After Pinyan's death, a video circulated around the internet of Kenneth Pinyan engaging in receptive anal intercourse with a horse. The video was nicknamed "Mr. Hands" or "2 Guys 1 Horse". The video, intended originally to sexually gratify the viewer, became one of the first viral reaction videos. This video is featured in the 2007 film Zoo. On an episode of Broad City, "Game Over", Ilana Wexler gets fired from her job due to her posting footage of Mr. Hands on corporate social media. On episode 68 of The Joe Rogan Experience, Joe Rogan had Iliza Shlesinger react to Mr. Hands. On episode 796 of the Joe Rogan Experience, Joe Rogan had Josh Zepps react to Mr. Hands. It was referenced to on episode Nut Neutrality and Sergeant Hands of Chapo Trap House by Felix Biederman.
A documentary of the life and death of Pinyan, and the life led by those who came to the farm near Enumclaw, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival 2007 under the title Zoo. It was one of 16 winners out of 856 candidates for the festival, and played at numerous regional festivals in the United States thereafter. Following Sundance, it was also selected as one of the top five American films to be presented at the prestigious Directors Fortnight sidebar at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.
James Michael Tait and later events of 2009–2010Edit
In 2005, James Michael Tait moved to Maury County, Tennessee, where he lived on the farm of a man named Kenny Thomason, which had 13 horses, Shetland ponies, goats and dogs. On October 13, 2009, a woman associated with them, Christy D. Morris, was arrested and charged with three counts of animal cruelty. Two days later, an anonymous person e-mailed investigators a photo of a man who was having sex with a Shetland pony from Thomason's farm, and Tait and Thomason were arrested that same day. Tait was charged with three counts of felony animal cruelty, while Thomason was charged with two counts of felony animal cruelty. According to Tait's arrest warrant, he had been engaging in sex acts with a stud horse over a span of several months. Tait and Thomason admitted to engaging in sex acts with a horse. In January 2010, Tait pleaded guilty in a Tennessee court to engaging in sexual acts with animals, and he was placed on probation.
Section 16.52.205 of the Revised Code of WashingtonEdit
After Pinyan died, Pam Roach, a member of the Washington State Senate and a Republican from Auburn, crafted a bill to ban bestiality in Washington State. Senate Bill 6417, which made bestiality a Class C felony, passed on February 11, 2006 with 36 state senators voting for it (The vote record is "passed; yeas, 36; nays, 0; absent, 0; excused, 13", meaning that 13 of the 49 total senators refrained from going on record about the matter). Mudede wrote "It was an almost comically easy law to pass." Bestiality had no political support in Washington state, and no group in Washington state advocated for bestiality. The law is RCW 16.52.205(3). Mudede wrote that reading RCW 16.52.205 "is very much like reading hardcore porn." In addition, the law prohibits "videotap[ing] a person engaged in a sexual act or sexual contact with an animal" that is "either alive or dead". Because of the provision against videotaping, Mudede stated that the law "points an angry finger directly at James Tait." In 2015 Mudede said that he was unaware of any bestiality arrests in Washington State since the Pinyan incident.
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