Ocala is a small town in west-central Florida where towering oaks line country roads leading to sprawling horse farms. It is also where 32-year-old farmhand Carlos Romero was jailed for stealing train batteries last week.
But heisting train batteries is only the latest allegations and charges leveled against the frisky farmhand, according to an Ocala Banner report.
Last month in Ocala, Romero accepted a plea deal for a year of probation and a $200 fine to avoid jail by allegedly pleading guilty to sexual activity with a miniature female donkey named Doodle.
But Saturday, the alleged donkey molester was back in a Marion County courtroom for stealing the aforementioned train batteries. Last week Ocala police officers executed two arrest warrants stemming from reports from Florida Northern Railroad employees that someone had stolen 16 train batteries valued at $10,880.
It seems a recycling company squealed to authorities that Romero had brought the items in for scrap and he was paid $161.46. Romero pleaded guilty to stealing four batteries in court on Saturday.
In defense of Romero’s relationship with Doodle the donkey, public defenders filed a motion late last year asking a judge to overturn a state law banning "zoophilia" as unconstitutional, according to the Ocala Banner newspaper.
The Dec. 6 defense motion said the law was based on moral objection and that authorities could not prove the animal was injured and that there was no proof "of the sexual activity being non-consensual." It was not revealed how the lawyers determined sex between Romero and Doodle may have been consensual.
Investigators say Romero was taken into custody in September and charged with misdemeanor sexual activity after a witness reported seeing him with his pants down and "up against the rear" of a female miniature donkey named Doodle, according to the newspaper.
Romero, who is reportedly barred from having contact with children, told investigators that “he gets sexually aroused around animals more so than humans,” according to the report. Romero also complained to authorities that "people frown on zoophilia" in Florida.
In Doodle’s case, Romero's lawyers challenged the law against sexual activity with animals saying it infringed on his (Romero’s) rights and violated the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause.