Defendant Ashley Nicole Richards.
A 24-year-old Houston, Texas woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to producing and distributing online so-called crush videos where puppies, chickens and kittens were mutilated and stomped on for the purpose of sexually arousing the audience.
The indictment of Ashley Nicole Richards was the nation’s first following a Supreme Court decision in 2010 that found a federal statute outlawing animal cruelty videos was overbroad and a breach of the First Amendment because it could lead to the criminalization of hunting videos, for example. Congress updated the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act in 2010 and apparently cured the constitutional deficiencies.
According to the First Amendment Center:
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