By Benjamin Harnwell
ROME, Italy — Proceedings have
been opened against a Moroccan stablehand working in Messina, Sicily,
who was caught on surveillance cameras giving a little too much
attention to one of the stable’s horses.
Liliana Todaro, the public prosecutor, in the first hearing at the
Court of Messina, asked for the case to be tried by a Monocratic Judge,
which in Italy is a magistrate that has power to sentence for up to ten
years, “because,” she says, quoting the charge sheet, “on several
occasions, [the accused] subjected a horse to tortures consummating sex
with the animal. In particular, he was sexually abusing the pregnant
horse with his penis and other improper instruments, resulting in agony,
which was followed by the detachment of the placenta, miscarriage and,
The LAV (the
Italian equivalent of PETA) is bringing a civil suit against the man,
because the horse, being pregnant at the time, suffered a miscarriage
following the penetration and died.
LAV said that this is “a story of unprecedented severity and brutal violence.”
Details of the incident are scarce, though it is known that the
accused was born in 1983. The court refers to him by the initials “B.S.”
Other similar tragedies come immediately to mind: Catherine the Great, for instance, according to some unkind rumors,
died having sex with her horse. Another example of hippophilia, nearer
to our own time, is that of Daniel Radcliffe, who made headlines when he
appeared in Peter Shaffer’s Equus, a play about a groom who has a romantic relationship with his horse.