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The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

October 19, 2009 at 4:07 PM

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Man at center of Enumclaw horse-sex case in trouble again

Posted by Jennifer Sullivan

A former Washington state man who was convicted of trespassing at a Enumclaw farm where a man suffered fatal injuries while having sex with a horse in 2005 is now accused of sex crimes with animals at a Tennessee farm.

James Tait, 58, was arrested and charged Thursday with three counts of felony animal cruelty. Kenny Thomason, 44, who lives with Tait in a Nashville, Tenn. suburb, was charged with two counts of felony animal cruelty.

"More charges are coming. They've been having sex with full-grown horses," Maury County, Tenn., Detective Terry Chandler said on Monday. "He [Tait] has been here for four years and it looks like it has been going on for some time."

Chandler said that Thomason owns the farm and the animals -- 13 horses, Shetland ponies, goats and dogs. The detective said that it appears that people had been having sex with ponies and dogs as well.

Deputies learned about the farm last week from someone who had visited. The person e-mailed investigators a photo of a man who appeared to be having sex with a Shetland pony, Chandler said.

Chandler said he's investigating whether Tait was advertising the farm as some sort of bestiality destination -- just as happened in the Enumclaw case. Chandler said that they recovered several videotapes of men having sex with animals on the farm.

Tait and Thomason are each being held on more than $100,000 bail, Chandler said.

When Enumclaw police searched Tait's King County farm in July 2005 they found hundreds of videotapes depicting men having sex with horses. One video showed a 45-year-old Gig Harbor man having sex with a horse shortly before he died of acute peritonitis due to perforation of the colon on July 2, 2005.

Tait entered an Alford Plea to the charge of criminal trespassing in King County District Court on Nov. 29, 2005. Under the plea, he did not admit guilt but acknowledged a jury likely would convict him.

Authorities charged Tait with trespassing at a neighbor's farm on the night of the Gig Harbor man's death. Tait's neighbors told The Times in 2005 that they didn't know that people had been sneaking into their barn to have sex with their horses.

In addition, Tait's rented Enumclaw farm was known in Internet chat rooms as a destination for people who wanted to have sex with livestock, according to the King County Sheriff's Office.

In 2006, in response to the Enumclaw case, the Washington state Legislature made bestiality a Class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The Enumclaw case was the subject of the recent documentary "Zoo" by Seattle filmmaker Robinson Devor.

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