A successful veterinarian, reportedly described as “charismatic”, was sentenced on Friday to over 22 years in prison for inter alia sexually abusing animals.
Prentiss Madden appeared in federal court in Miami for his conviction. In addition to creating and sharing videos of engaging in sexual acts with dogs online, Madden owned thousands of images of child pornography, including that of infants and young children.
District Judge Jose Martinez eventually gave the 40-year-old veterinarian 272 months in prison for his crimes, the harshest sentence allowed under federal guidelines, the Miami Herald reported.
Madden seemed to regret it as he spoke to Judge Martinez, tracing his crimes back to past trauma, and explaining how he witnessed his stepfather beat his mother badly as a child.
“That’s never who I wanted or thought to be,” Madden said. “It doesn’t represent who I am as a person.”
A Florida veterinarian has been sentenced to prison for sexually abusing dogs and possessing child pornography. This photo shows a representational image of a hammer.
Joe Raedle / Getty Images
Michael Mirer, Madden’s attorney, also cited his client’s childhood trauma and depression. However, he declined to present these things as an excuse for Madden’s actions.
“He turned to child pornography because he was clinically depressed,” Mirer told Martinez
Martinez’s ruling also took into account evidence that Madden allegedly sexually abused a teenager under the age of 16 while building his collection of child pornography. This was based on the recommendation of Assistant Attorney General Christopher Hudock, the chief prosecutor on the case. It is unclear based on the evidence when exactly this alleged abuse could have occurred.
The mother of the alleged juvenile victim was present in court on Friday. She said that although Madden’s actions were “evil and horrific” in her eyes, she forgave him and quoted a passage from the Bible.
Mirer argued that the evidence wasn’t strong enough to extend Madden’s sentence. He also demanded a maximum seven-year sentence from the judge so that his client would not spend the rest of his adult life in prison. Neither of these arguments worked.
Newsweek has asked Mirer and Hudock to comment on this story.
Madden previously served as the medical director at Caring Hands Animal Hospital in Aventura, Florida. The hospital told the Herald that Madden was released from his position two weeks before his arrest in March – after learning that he was being investigated for “heinous and unthinkable crimes.”
Madden was listed as the medical director on Caring Hands’ website at the time of his arrest. His information was deleted immediately after the news became known.
In response to Madden’s conviction, Lauren Book, the Florida Senate minority leader, herself a Democrat and survivor of child abuse, took to Twitter to highlight the known links between animal abuse and child abuse.
This vet has sexually abused animals and has been in possession of child porn. Unfortunately, animal abuse is = the top predictor of child abuse – that’s why we passed a bill last year requiring animal abuse investigators to be trained to identify signs of child abuse. https://t.co/ggpgBbeuab
– Lauren Book (@LeaderBookFL) October 9, 2021
“This vet sexually abused animals and owned child porn,” Book wrote. “Unfortunately animal abuse = top predictor of child abuse – that’s why we passed a law last year that requires animal abuse investigators to be trained to recognize signs of child abuse.”