Mass. General Laws c.272 § 77C

Sexual contact with animal

Table of Contents

Updates

Added by St.2018, c. 219, § 23, effective November 7, 2018

(a)

For the purposes of this section, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:

“Animal”, a living nonhuman mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish or invertebrate.

“Sexual contact”, (i) any act between a person and an animal that involves contact between the sex organs or anus of one and the mouth, anus or sex organs of the other; (ii) touching or fondling by a person of the sex organs or anus of an animal, either directly or through clothing, without a bona fide veterinary or animal husbandry purpose; (iii) any transfer or transmission of semen by the person upon any part of the animal; or (iv) the insertion, however slight, of any part of a person's body or any object into the vaginal or anal opening of an animal or the insertion of any part of the animal's body into the vaginal or anal opening of the person.

(b)

A person who willingly: (i) engages in sexual contact with an animal or advertises, offers, accepts an offer for, sells, transfers, purchases or otherwise obtains an animal with the intent that the animal be used for sexual contact; (ii) organizes, promotes, conducts or knowingly participates in as an observer an act involving sexual contact with an animal; (iii) causes, aids or abets another person to engage in sexual contact with an animal; (iv) knowingly permits sexual contact with an animal to be conducted on any premises under the person's control; (v) induces or otherwise entices a child younger than 18 years of age or a person with a developmental or intellectual disability, as defined in section 1 of chapter 123B, to engage in sexual contact with an animal or engages in sexual contact with an animal in the presence of a child younger than 18 years of age or a person with a developmental or intellectual disability; (vi) forces another person to engage in sexual contact with an animal; or (vii) disseminates photographs, videotapes or other depictions prohibited sexual contact with an animal shall, for a first offense, be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 7 years or by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than 2 ½ years, by a fine of not more than $5,000 or by both such fine and imprisonment and, for a second or subsequent offense, by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 10 years, by a fine of not more than $10,000 or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(c)

Notwithstanding section 26 of chapter 218 or any other general or special law to the contrary, the district courts and the divisions of the Boston municipal court department shall have original jurisdiction, concurrent with the superior court, of a violation of this section.

(d)

Upon a conviction for a violation of this section and in addition to any other penalties as may be provided by law, the defendant shall forfeit the animal whose treatment was the basis of the conviction to the custody of an entity incorporated under the laws of the commonwealth for the prevention of cruelty to animals or for the care and protection of homeless or suffering animals.

Upon a conviction for a violation of this section, the defendant shall not: (i) work in any capacity that requires the person to be in contact with an animal, including a commercial boarding or training establishment, shelter, animal control facility, pet shop, grooming facility, commercial breeder service, veterinary hospital or clinic or animal welfare society or other nonprofit organization incorporated for the purpose of providing for and promoting the welfare, protection and humane treatment of animals; or (ii) harbor, own, possess or exercise control over an animal, reside in a household where any animals are present or engage in an occupation, whether paid or unpaid, or participate in a volunteer position at any establishment where animals are present for any length of time that the court deems reasonable for the protection of all animals; provided, however, that the length of time shall not be less than 5 years after the person's release from custody.

(e)

This section shall not apply to lawful and accepted practices that relate to veterinary medicine performed by a licensed veterinarian or a certified veterinary technician under the guidance of a licensed veterinarian, artificial insemination of animals for the purpose of procreation, accepted animal husbandry practices, including raising, breeding or assisting with the birthing process of animals or any other practice that provides care for animals, or conformation judging.

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Boston, MA 02108
Last updated: June 6, 2019
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