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2 face charges for allegedly creating animal abuse videos

By Ehren Wynder

June 7 (UPI) -- Warning: This article contains criminal allegations involving the alleged torture and mutilation of animals.

Two people were charged this week for their alleged involvement in creating and distributing videos showing graphic abuse of monkeys, according to the Justice Department.

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An indictment on Friday named Nicholas T. Dryden, of Ohio, and Giancarlo Morelli, of New Jersey, who were charged with conspiracy to create and distribute "animal crush videos" and with distributing the videos.

The videos allegedly depicted acts of extreme violence and sexual abuse against baby, adolescent and adult monkeys, the Justice Department said.

Dryden also was charged with production, distribution and receipt of a visual depiction of the sexual abuse of a children, because the defendants allegedly paid a minor in Indonesia to abuse the monkeys.

Court documents state that the two men allegedly conspired in March and April 2023 to create and distribute the videos. They allegedly funneled money through Dryden, who then paid the minor to commit the acts Dryden and Morelli requested on camera.

Among those acts were sodomy and genital abuse, according to the Justice Department.

Conspiracy carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. The charges related to the creation and distribution of animal crush videos carry a maximum of seven years. The charges of of producing and distributing depictions of the sexual abuse of a minor carry a maximum of 20 years.

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Former President Donald Trump in 2019 signed into law the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, which criminalizes the creation and distribution of animal crush videos, as well as the acts being filmed.

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