Houston woman sentenced for animal cruelty in ‘Crush' videos

HOUSTON (KHOU)  – A judge has sentenced a Houston woman, who pleaded guilty to three counts of animal cruelty, to 10 years in prison, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said Thursday.

According to court documents, Ashley Richards, 23, used weapons such as meat cleavers, knives and high heels to torture cats and dogs to death for the production of "Crush" videos.

"Crush" videos depict women killing small animals with instruments, shoes or bare feet to satisfy the sexual fetishes of those who purchase and watch them.

"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 Anderson. "When a person tortures and kills an animal that raises a red flag about that person's capacity for violent behavior in general."

Brent Justice, 52, of Houston, is also charged with animal cruelty in connection with his participation in the videos. His next court setting is July 17. He is being held in custody in lieu of a $50,000 bond.

The Houston Police Department arrested Richards and Justice after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) alerted investigators in August 2012 about the videos.

Richards' case is the first Harris County prosecution involving "Crush" videos.


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