A Florida man has admitted recording himself performing sex acts on his Siberian husky while wearing a dog costume – and posting the revolting footage online, authorities said.
Christian Stewart Oscar Nichols, 21, of Oldsmar, is facing charges of aggravated animal cruelty and 10 counts of prohibition of certain acts in connection with obscene materials after his arrest on Monday, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
An investigation was launched on Jan. 25 after an out-of-state resident contacted officials from the Pinellas County Animal Services to report the existence of video and photographs online depicting a man having sexual contact with a dog.
Detectives from the sheriff’s office later obtained copies of the video and photographs, which depicted a man dressed in a black and white Siberian husky costume using his penis and sex toys during sex acts with the animal.
The dog – later identified as Nichols’ pet, named Ember – was clearly distressed during the video, and at one point tried to run away. But the man responded by hitting the dog with a “penis-shaped” sex toy, according to the sheriff’s department.
Investigators were able to trace the video and photographs back to Nichols, who admitted to detectives at his residence that he made the footage with his dog before posting it to the internet. A second dog was also removed from Nichols’ home.
Nichols – whose arrest record lists him at 5 feet 8 and 220 pounds – was taken to the Pinellas County Jail, where he was released from custody on Tuesday after posting bond, jail records show.
Pinellas County Sgt. Spencer Gross said Nichols admitted to sharing the video via a messaging app called Telegram.
“Mr. Nichols was in a few different chat rooms with others who had interest in zoosadism and zoophilia,” Gross told the Tampa Bay Times, citing psychological disorders involving pleasure derived from cruelty to animals and sexual attraction to animals, respectively. “That’s how he transferred the video to someone he’d been chatting with.”
A Chihuahua was also removed from Nichols’ home, where he lives with a relative. Investigators do not believe that animal was victimized, but both dogs are now in the care of animal welfare officials, seemingly in “good health and spirits,” a field services manager told the Tampa Bay Times.
Additional charges against Nichols, who could not be reached for comment Wednesday, are likely, Gross said.
“There’s a lot more evidence they’re combing through and it could take at least another month to get through everything he’s got,” Gross said.