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Update: Fetish Animal Torturer Sentenced to 10 Years

Written by PETA | May 30, 2014

Update: Ashley Richards was sentenced last week to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of cruelty to animals for her involvement in making “crush” videos. “While we are satisfied that the defendant received the maximum penalty in these cases, we will fight at the next legislative session to increase the punishment range for this offense to better protect these animals and all citizens of Harris County,” said District Attorney Devon Anderson. “When a person tortures and kills an animal that raises a red flag about that person’s capacity for violent behavior in general. It will always be a priority for our office to aggressively prosecute offenders who abuse animals.”

Richards’ co-defendant, Brent Justice, is scheduled to appear in court in July.

Originally posted on August 21:

After PETA was alerted to violent fetish videos sold online showing puppies, kittens, rabbits, mice, and other animals who were tortured in ways that would make even a hardened person sick, our Cruelty Investigations Department staffers worked around the clock to find the perpetrators. Thanks to skillful sleuthing and with the help of the Animal Beta Project, PETA determined that the alleged producers of the videos lived in Houston, Texas, and rushed the evidence to local authorities. Two days later, the Houston Police Department (HPD) arrested Brent Justice and Ashley Richards, two suspects believed to be involved in an international video sales scheme, on felony warrants and charged them with animal torture.

Photo: Houston Police Department/Houston Chronicle

Photo: Houston Police Department/Houston Chronicle

The Real ‘Torture Porn’

PETA applauds the HPD and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office for their swift action. We will be pushing for federal charges as well, as making crush videos is a violation of federal law. Such videos feature animals, including mice, puppies, kittens, and rabbits, slowly tortured to death for the sexual gratification of fetishists.

Charges for both suspects result from a video that PETA gave to the HPD, in which a woman prosecutors say is Richards is shown cutting the leg and slashing the neck and throat of a puppy before beheading the struggling animal with a meat cleaver. Richards also faces charges related to the torture and killing of a cat in a 2010 video. As the Houston Chronicle reports, a “judge halted the reading of the court documents during a hearing last week because the details were too graphic.” Richards has reportedly admitted to killing hundreds of animals over the years. The investigation is continuing.

What You Can Do

As this case shows, for animals in danger, one phone call or e-mail can the make the difference between life and (perhaps a horrible) death. Please, if you witness or hear about cruelty to animals, never be silent.

Commenting is closed.
  • doridori says:

    Best news all week, in a week of horrible news re: sadistic treatment of helpless beings.

  • Emily Paredes says:

    This Judge NEEDS TO BE REMOVED! Why are these two individuals even walking on this EARTH! The judicial system is Broken!

  • Mike says:

    Have there been any new updates on this? I am extremely anxious to see Judge Lake removed from the bench and these monsters behind bars!

  • annd says:

    I first heard of crush videos a few years ago, and worked to help get H.R. 5566 (“The Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010”) passed into law. To see it challenged and ignored in its first real-world test was disheartening to say the least. Judge Lake’s ruling was unconscionable and sets a very dangerous precedent. It gives a green light to degenerates to produce more of these atrocities. We need to prevent further devaluation of life—all life. Our social norms have degenerated to such a despicable level already. We can’t allow them to sink further into the abyss! Please do all you can to ensure that this travesty is overturned in the appellate court.

  • universal40 says:

    Where is the update for this? There is no victory. Despite the fact that teh snuff films are illegal federally, and that in Texas animal abuse and murder is illegal, these two got off because the judge thought because the acts were filmed it was “freedom of speech” and was protected by the First Amendment. How infuriating!! So, if anything done illegally (even human snuff films or child pornography), if its filmed on tape, it’s protected by the First Amendment?!? I don’t think so! These people need to go away for a long time!

  • imkokosmom says:

    I hope someone catches up with these two and knock them out. Tie their hands behind them and when they wake, beat the hell out of them break both arms and legs. And leave them where they lay if they get help good if not oh freaking well. I’m not a vicious person but I’m just going to say I’m glad I don’t live anywhere around them. I guess I would be in jail.

  • Jackie says:

    I remember signing a petition on Facebook’s causes about this case.

  • el gotto says:

    i am sorry i still have no clue what a crush movie is an or what they do but from the way you are all reacting i can only assume that it was something really bad an something damaging to animals killing them in some manner an if that is the case then i am glad to not know what was happening for i feel that i would have to get very angry with the city officials for not having stronger laws against animal killers for gratifcation an pure evil this shit needs to stop we were not put here to kill each other or the animals that god an jesus made to make up this world we were made to co exist with each other an to be happy but you put one lil bug in the works an everything is so screwed up

  • Isabella Acuna says:

    OH MY GOD!!!!!!! I LIVE IN HOUSTON!!! i wish i knew about this earlier i wouldve found them and dont something about this, this is fucking sick!!!! death penalty!!! they deserve the death penalty!!! people like these need to DIE and not by lethal injection, the punishment should fit the crime!!

  • Chris says:

    I reported this women back in dec 2011 (to peta and houston spca) so would like to think my actions led to her conviction. The name Meshalette led me to some Houston Escort advert and her tattoo matched up with a pic on that site.

  • Elizabeth smith says:

    These are prime example of USELESS EATErRS. They serve no purpose and take up space using resources on this planet. They need to be gotten rid of along with any others like them!

  • Shivaun Huggard says:

    I had never heard of a “crush” movie before. All I can say is that I just cannot believe how lower and lower and lower the human race can stoop. Who are these people? Where do they live? What kind of minds do they have? I really really just cannot understand how depraved people can be do carry out such atrocities. I truly abhor this “woman” and “man” and the punishment they receive will never be enough to compensate for what they have done to these innocent creature. My blood is boiling.

  • Tracey says:

    I believe what goes around comes around and god help these walking scum when it does…slow and painful for them I’m sure x

  • cynthia says:

    there are no words imaginable to say to these non-humans about the CRUELTY done to these INNOCENT PRECIOUS ANIMALS! I know that our LORD JESUS CHRIST is SADDEND by his children that such HORRID act’s and PEOPLE? can exist in HIS BEAUTIFUL WORLD ! MAY THEY GET JUST PUNISHMENT FOR THEIR EVILNESS . PRAISE TO THE LORD JESUS CHRIST !

  • Georgie S says:

    If only the British legal system took animal cruelty as seriously and handed out harsher sentences of this nature. For badger baiting, illegal coursing, kicking an animal to death, etc you’d be looking at a pathetically small fine and a paltry prison sentence (if at all). We have to take the “cruelty connection” seriously. Those that perpetrate this kind of horrific torture on animals either are, or soon will carry out the same on humans. I’m not in favour of just locking people up indefinitely but it’s important to find out why this kind of crime takes place. What happens to a person that makes them carry out such hideous acts?

  • Stephen says:

    How do people get to thinking that this sort of treatment to animals os acceptable? They need to be left in a trap in the middle of the woods and let nature take it’s course or revenge!

  • vitomonaLisa says:

    Thank GOD…Happy 2013…the only way to achieve “bliss” is to get rid of garbage people like these two. AMEN.. FIGHT TO MAKE 2013 A CRUELTY FREE YEAR.

  • Miss Seymour says:

    These crap deserves, and I am almost absolutely sure that many people would agree, the death penalty, after all the pain they have caused to innocent and defense-less creatures. I dare to say, that they would even deserve to suffer the same pain that they caused before. Anyway, I feel very much content with these news, I hope that the whole group of imbeciles that used to make these videos are caught and locked for life. I hope that these news are the start for a better and more fair year for animals.

  • Bulldogger says:

    I also am horrified and sickened by this behavior. I had never heard of this fetish before, and it is truly an evil thing. My gut tells me not to fine or confine them, but to snuff them out. I think anything else would not be justice.

  • gloria ferry says:

    these people are evil and dangerous to all living bean! next would of been humans! i say bring back death penalities! eye for an eye!!!

  • Linda M. says:

    Throw away the key!

  • Janell J says:

    This is so disgusting that human beings with even a minimal amount of brains can do such horrific acts. We need to get back to the punishment of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

  • Gözde Yasemin Öztürk says:

    I feel so sorry for those animals but this punishment is so great. Thank you PETA,thanks to judges and American judgement system. I hope someday these kind of monsters will be punish like that in my country Turkey.

  • claire mariotti says:

    lets hope theres a special sort of ‘crush’ awaiting them in prison

  • Alexa says:

    I wonder if these two have any missing children?

  • Tayna says:

    I can’t even imagine what would make a person commit such a crime no punishment will ever be enough. What saddens me further is who are the sick &@$?!’s that buy or watch this. Thanks PETA for your great work and please let us know if we can email anyone to help ensure these sick cruel evil people are locked away never to be released.

  • Becky says:

    Just when i thought i had heard about every sick thing out there… I just want to say a big Thank you to Peta for your tireless work to save animals. If it weren’t for you, who knows how long these creatures would have gone on doing these things. Its a ” heads up” to us all to keep our eyes open too.

  • concerned says:

    And they get three meals a day, free education, medical, and dental for this? Execute them the same way they did the innocent!

  • Funfitray says:

    Hooray and thank God for PETA. This makes me so proud to be a supporter.

  • nomeat4me says:

    This is another reason why people should NEVER give their pets away on Craigslist!

  • sara kays says:

    they should find those people who watch and buy those and arrest them too

  • patsy s says:

    These People are truly sick, I agree that people who are into this, is also accountable for their actions.

  • Faith Edie says:

    When I found out about “crush videos” I was horrified by the inability to prosecute those that make these videos because of our “freedome of speech” It is so awesome to see that the government is finally coming around and seeing the videos for what they truly are. Thank you PETA for keeping us advised.

  • Sergio C. says:

    They will get 45 years to think about the evil that they did and when they evenrually pass our Father in heaven will deliver justice to them again. Now please PETA find the buyers of the videos and bring them to court!!

  • Sai says:

    Their “customers” might be just as sick or even sicker. They’re paying for these unimagineable acts.

  • Diana says:

    This makes me sick. Thank GOD they were stopped. How sick can people be WOW.

  • janet says:

    I hope someone or something does the same thing to them that they did to those poor babies….then they burn in HELL !!!!!!

  • achang says:

    My congratulations to PETA and the rest of the people who made possible the capture of this sick people. I hope they find their punishment in jail and are treated with the same cruelty and sadism they showed toward all those innocent animals. May they burn in hell.

  • gerald says:

    thanks peta for your continous efforts and thanks for helping to support revealing 2 evil creatures like them pls do never stop your work regardless how frustrating or horrible your task might be god bless and a happy new year to all of you

  • Lisa says:

    Trash like these two need to be out of society period. I hope they get what they deserve in prison…and then some.

  • chris mac says:

    What truly worries me, besided the ‘sickness of the acts’ these two were preprared to perform, IS who IS THE AUDIENCE ????????? They, the buyers of such insidious videos, should be locked up with these despicable things, right alongs side of them !!!!! May they all rot in hell !

  • Caroline Westbrook-Jones says:

    The seeds that you have sown have now become the seeds that you will reep! let justice be served on you now for your preditary evil and vile ways, your crimes are too terrible to imagine and I cannot bring myself to read about what you did, but I find comfort in knowing you will never be able to inflict these unimaginable crimes on our dear loved and vulnerable ones ever again, your reign of terror is now over, all things must pass and your vile unforgivable acts of pain and torture that you inflicted on these vulnerable ones. you can never escape justice, be it here on Earth or be it Divine justice in the here after, Justice will always prevail in the end and there is no where to hide, it will always find you!

  • Alison says:

    WTF? That’s the most disturbing thing ever. Sick sick people!!

  • alan owens says:

    Well done to PETA and the activists who helped bring these sadistic Ba**tards to trial, its a pity they wont be treated as badly as they treated animals over the years, locking them up is too nice a punishment for this, they should suffer the same consequences as they dished out…again well done to PETA

  • Anne Nielsen says:

    These sick so-called “humans” should be locked up for the rest of their pathetic lives – and please throw away the key!!!

  • Betty Kelly says:

    I can’t think of any legal punishment that would equal their crime and I don’t want to play any part thru tax $ to perserve their lives. That being considered, Execution would solve the concern of them ever being free. I’m sure there would not be a problem finding a willing executioner. Put my name on the list.

  • Kat says:

    Well done PETA… This is sickening & horrifying…These people should never be released. People who watch this shit for pleasure should also be locked up for life if found.

  • Dave says:

    Great news. I hope they do throw the book at them. In Canada they would get a slap on the wrist and told “don’t do it again”

  • Virginia W. says:

    Jail is way, way too good a place for these monsters. Thank God this judge is keeping them confined and congratulations to the HPD and District Attorney for shutting them down. It’s well-known that behavior like this is usually precedes the serial killing of people. Unfortunately, there truly is evil in this world.

  • Missy says:

    What they did is beyond evil…Hell is waiting for these two terrible creatures.