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Fine Points of the Law

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Judge James Morley dismissed animal cruelty charges in September against former Moorestown, N.J., police officer Robert Melia Jr., who had been caught in 2006 attempting to sexually gratify himself using calves' mouths. Because the state has no anti-bestiality statute, Melia was charged with animal "cruelty," but Judge Morley said he was uncertain whether the acts were "cruel" or merely confusing. He reasoned that calves would normally recognize an appendage in their mouths as the prelude to food. If the calf could speak, said Judge Morley, it might merely say, "Where's the milk? I'm not getting any milk."

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