A truck driver from Kent County, Michigan, who is now residing in Ohio, was arrested for sexually assaulting dogs and creating graphic torture videos that he then distributed online.
Lucas VanWoert, 25, has been charged with making animal torture videos and distributing obscene materials after Australian authorities tipped off American authorities.
According to the indictment, the investigation began in Australia on April 22 of this year. Authorities in the country said a 51-year-old man was arrested for bestiality, animal cruelty, and child exploitation. Officials said they discovered two accounts for an online platform where the man was known as a ‘high-level’ producer of animal cruelty videos during a search of his devices and home.
During the search, they discovered numerous images and videos of animal cruelty created in 2020 by an unknown man known only as ‘Graves,’ whom police later identified as VanWoert.
According to authorities, the two men exchanged over 700 files, all of which depicted animal abuse. ‘Graves’ recorded many of these files in the sleeper section of a tractor-trailer and showed a white man with a beard, a distinctive tattoo on his bicep, and a dog laying next to him. This dog’s mouth was tied shut.
This dog was sexually abused and tortured in obscene and graphic ways, according to the indictment.
VanWoert admitted to the charges during an interview with cops. He admitted to performing sex acts, beating and strangling a dog while in Grand Rapids, and disposing of the dog’s body in a dumpster.
During a search at his current residence in Ohio, cops discovered three dogs in poor health and a fourth dog buried in the backyard.
Authorities released information about several recovered files, but they are far too graphic to be published. They depict the dog being tortured unimaginably, having organs removed, and being sexually assaulted with a knife. Two of the videos showed the dog still breathing, indicating that it was still alive while being subjected to the horrific acts.
“I am going to be sick. This just does not sound like my son, not in my wildest dreams. Lucas has always been a huge animal-rights person. We always loved animals. He tried to protect animals.” VanWoert’s mother said responding to her son’s arrest, as per The Detroit News.
The charges against VanWoert include four counts of making animal torture videos and four counts of disseminating them. A seven-year federal prison sentence could be imposed on him. He is currently being held without bond at Toledo’s Lucas County Correctional Facility.