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Originally published October 20, 2009 at 12:10 AM | Page modified October 21, 2009 at 9:12 AM

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Man in infamous Enumclaw horse-sex case faces new charges in Tennessee

A former Washington state man who was convicted of trespassing at a Enumclaw farm where a man was fatally injured while having sex with a horse in 2005 is accused of having sex with animals on a Tennessee farm.

Seattle Times staff reporter

A former Washington state man who was convicted of trespassing at an Enumclaw farm where a man was fatally injured while having sex with a horse in 2005 is accused of having sex with animals on a Tennessee farm.

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

"They've been having sex with full-grown horses," Maury County Detective Terry Chandler said 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 the ponies and dogs as well as well as larger horses.

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

Chandler said he's investigating whether the farm was being advertised as some sort of bestiality destination — just as happened in the Enumclaw case. Chandler said that detectives have 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 Enumclaw 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.

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.

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

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.

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

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or jensullivan@seattletimes.com

Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report

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