HomeCrimeTruck Driver Lucas Russell VanWoert Charged With Dog Torture And $exual Assault...

Truck Driver Lucas Russell VanWoert Charged With Dog Torture And $exual Assault In Michigan

Inside look at ‘Truck Driver Lucas Russell VanWoert Charged With Dog Torture And $exual Assault In Michigan’ A Michigan man has been arrested and charged with multiple “animal crush” crimes over the alleged creation of dog torture videos.

Truck Driver Lucas Russell VanWoert Charged With Dog Torture And $exual Assault In Michigan

Lucas Russell VanWoert, 25, stands accused of four counts of creation of an animal crush video and four counts of distribution of an animal crush video, according to federal court records reviewed by Law&Crime.

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The investigation was launched, according to a thorough and disturbing criminal complaint, when U.S. and Australian authorities detained a 51-year-old Australian man in late April of this year while trying “to identify the individual responsible for creating an animal cruelty video titled “1Bitch9Pups,” which circulated on” a chat application and “elsewhere on the Internet.”

In Australia, that individual was later charged with a number of serious offenses including animal cruelty and child exploitation.

Dog Abuse Investigation Details

Truck Driver Lucas Russell VanWoert Charged

“During an analysis of electronic devices seized from the [Australian man], law enforcement located multiple image and video files of animal cruelty produced beginning in November 2020, by an unknown individual using the nickname “Graves.” It was determined that the [Australian man] and ‘Graves‘ exchanged approximately 705 files of animal abuse with one another.”

Federal authorities believe Graves was the avatar used by VanWoert online when he distributed animal cruelty videos.

The criminal complaint contains an image culled from one of the Australian man’s devices that purports to show VanWoert-Graves; in the image is a picture of a tan and white pit bull; the dog’s mouth is tied shut with a black rope; a shirtless man, with his face and a distinguishing tattoo visible in the frame, is next to the animal.

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“An initial review of the material produced by ‘Graves’ indicated that the material was filmed in the sleeper cabin of a tractor trailer and involved at least four (4) different dogs that were sexually abused and tortured,” the complaint goes on. “In some of these files an adult male’s face is visible as is a unique tattoo of a star surrounded by sunrays on his arm.”

Court documents go on to detail a shocking degree of animal cruelty and sexual abuse in exceedingly graphic and violent terms.

A relatively sanitized explanation of the alleged behavior committed by the defendant in the videos comes by way of his indictment:

Specifically, on November 16, 2020, the defendant knowingly created an obscene video or digital recording, with the digital file identifier of “144 20201116_020629,” that depicted a dog being sexually assaulted, impaled, and otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury and resulted in killing the dog. At some time later, the video was sent via an internet chat application to an individual in McMinns Lagoon, Northern Territory, Australia.

Using metadata in four of the videos, federal law enforcement tracked the filming location down to a truck stop in Michigan and later ascertained the whereabouts of the defendant himself.

According to the complaint, VanWoert allegedly confessed to the alleged behavior in a September interview with federal officials in Ohio.

The paper states that VanWoert “was not arrested, was instructed he was free to leave, and he agreed to answer questions.” “VanWoert admitting to performing sex acts on a dog, beating and strangling it, and dumping the body in a dumpster in the yard of Sunset Logistics, his former company, in Grand Rapids. He was unable to provide a precise date for the occurrence. Three live dogs were found by the agents at the house, and a fourth dog’s body was found buried in the backyard. The three dogs seem to be quite ill and undernourished.

Animal crush videos were previously made illegal in 1999, then okayed by the Supreme Court and subsequently outlawed again in 2010.

Content warning: the criminal complaint is available in full below but contains graphic depictions of animal cruelty and violence.

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