Bestiality is a criminal offence found in section 54A of the Crimes Act 1958. It is the sexual penetration of an animal. If you have been accused of this offence, get in touch with specialist Bestiality lawyers immediately.

Do the Police say you have committed Bestiality?

We are criminal lawyers who specialise in allegations of a sexual nature and we can answer your questions.

Police Interview
You should call us if the Police want to speak with you about an allegation of Bestiality.

  • Contact expert Bestiality lawyers on (03) 9670 5111.
  • We provide a free first phone conference.
  • Download our free booklet to learn more about the Investigation and Court process.
Do not risk your defence by not knowing your rights. Discuss what not to say during a Police interview.

We have handled many Bestiality cases. There is a lot that you need to know about how the Police run these cases.

We can help you by preparing you for the Police interview. You may want to know – should I make a statement to the Police? Should I attend a Police interview? Will the Police leave me alone if I explain my side of the story? What do I do if the Police have a search warrant?

We can attend a police interview with you to support you and give you advice.

Being accused of Bestiality can have a devastating effect on you. It can affect your employment. It can harm your family relationships. It can harm your reputation.

Pleading guilty
If you are pleading guilty to Bestiality, we will help you to prepare your plea for Court. We will arrange documents and reports for your Court appearance, and it will be us speaking for you in Court.

As specialist Bestiality lawyers, it will be our job to prepare for you the best possible explanation to the Court as to why you committed these offences.

Which court will the case be heard in?
The charge of Bestiality is usually heard in the Magistrate’s Court.

Examples of Bestiality
  • Someone has sex with a sheep.
  • Someone has sex with a horse.
We had a case where the Police could prove someone had sex with a donkey but not that it was our client. The evidence was all circumstantial and was not very strong. All charges ended up being withdrawn.
What is the legal definition of Bestiality?
The legal definition of Bestiality is having anal or vaginal sex with a non-human animal.

The section that covers this offence is section 54A of the Crimes Act 1958.

  1. A person (A) commits an offence if A intentionally—
    1. sexually penetrates an animal; or
    2. causes or allows an animal to sexually penetrate A.
  2. A person who commits an offence against subsection (1) is liable to level 6 imprisonment (5 years maximum).1
Elements of the offence
A person may be found guilty of Bestiality if the following elements are proven in court beyond reasonable doubt:

1. The accused intentionally sexually penetrated an animal; or
According to section 35, ‘animal’ means any animal (other than a human being), whether vertebrate or not.

‘Sexual penetration’ is defined under section 35A. It covers a wide range of conduct, and includes:

  1. The accused introduces (to any extent) a part of their body or an object into the animal’s vagina; or
  2. The accused introduces (to any extent) a part of their body or an object into the animal’s anus; or
  3. The accused introduces (to any extent) their penis into the animal’s mouth; or
  4. The accused, having introduced a part of their body or an object into the animal’s vagina, continues to keep it there; or
  5. The accused, having introduced a part of their body or an object into the animal’s anus, continues to keep it there; or
  6. The accused, having introduced their penis into the animal’s mouth, continues to keep it there.
In relation to sexual penetration of an animal, a reference to the vagina or anus includes a reference to any similar part.

2. The accused caused or allowed an animal to sexually penetrate the accused
According to section 35A(4), a person is sexually penetrated by an animal if the animal sexually penetrates them as defined under 35A(1).

For example, if a donkey’s penis penetrates a human’s mouth, this is sexual penetration.

What are some of the possible defences to a Bestiality charge?
Specialist Bestiality lawyers may use the following as criminal defences:

  • There was no sexual penetration involved.
  • Another person had sex with the animal.
Questions in cases like this
  • Is there a case of mistaken identity?
  • How can they prove there was sexual penetration?
“Looking at bestiality is not a crime, participating in it is.”
Maximum penalty for section 54A of the Crimes Act 1958
The maximum penalty for this offence is 5 years.

By pleading guilty to Bestiality in Victoria, you may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment. However, Courts generally take the view that someone who pleads guilty to or is found guilty of Bestiality would benefit from treatment in the community.

Central to a good plea in mitigation to Bestiality is a psychological report which offers an expert opinion as to the cause of your wrong-doing and appropriate treatment. Discuss this with your specialist Bestiality lawyers. Courts want to see that you are receiving treatment to address the cause of the offending to prevent it from happening again.

Other information

[1] Australian legal Information Institute. “Crimes Act 1958 – Section 54A: Bestiality.” (accessed June 17, 2020).