Police in Suffolk County, New York, said Thursday that a local man with a vast history of animal abuse had been arrested on charges of having “sexual contact with horses on two separate occasions.”
Steven Errante, 30, of Dix Hills, faces two counts of sexual misconduct with an animal and failure to register for the county’s Animal Abuse Offender Registry, according to News 12 Long Island.
Errante had been ordered to register as an animal abuser after he beat his family’s dog with a baseball bat in 2013, but apparently never did so. Investigators conducted a check on Errante Wednesday and discovered the encounters with the horses, which allegedly took place on Aug. 25 and Sept. 4 at a local stable.
It was not immediately clear how investigators discovered the alleged incidents, but Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini told News 12 that authorities had “certainly sufficient evidence to charge him with those sex acts.”
After the 2013 abuse incident, Errante’s attorney told local media outlets that her client was an Army veteran who had spent time in a Veterans Affairs hospital.
Police say he was supposed to register on the animal abuse registry as part of his sentence, but never did. Special Victims Section detectives conducted a check on him, and that’s when police say they discovered the abuse of the horses.
Police aren’t saying how Errante ended up on the property, but just a few hundred feet away from the stables is a trail that ends at Errante’s house.
“He had no right to be on that farm,” says Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini. “He was trespassing on that farm and we have certainly sufficient evidence to charge him with those sex acts.”
Sini told News 12 that this type of depraved behavior is especially disturbing.
“This not only a danger to the animals that he abused, but most often these people are likely to commit depraved acts against human beings. You look at serial killers or domestic violence abusers, many of them have a history of abusing animals,” he said.
Errante pleaded not guilty Thursday to two counts of sexual misconduct with an animal, as well as failure to register on the animal abuse offenders registry.
He is being held on $6,000 bail.