Judge dismisses animal cruelty charges against police officer Robert Melia for sex with cows
BY Neil Nagraj
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Friday, September 25th 2009, 12:37 PMVia Philly.com
Above, a mugshot of Robert Melia. He, with girlfriend Heather Lewis (below) still faces charges relating to alleged sex assaults on three young girls.Philly.com
Perhaps the Garden State should switch its nickname to the Barnyard State.
A New Jersey judge has dismissed animal cruelty charges against a cop accused of committing a sex act with young cows, saying a grand jury had no way of knowing whether the animals were “tormented.”
Moorestown police officer Robert Melia, who is currently suspended, allegedly engaged in oral sex acts with five calves in Southampton in 2006.
Since New Jersey currently has no law explicitly banning such an act, prosecutors in Burlington county brought animal cruelty charges against Melia, the Philadelphia Daily News reports.
Judge Morely said it was questionable that Melia’s acts, though “disgusting,” constituted animal cruelty.
“I’m not saying it’s OK,” Morely said. “This is a legal question for me. It’s not a questions of morals. It’s not a question of hygiene. It’s not a question of how people should conduct themselves.”
The dismissal reportedly irked the prosecution.
“I think any reasonable juror could infer that a man’s penis in the mouth of a calf is torment,” a Burlington County assistant prosecutor, Kevin Morgan, said. “It’s a crime against nature.”
The judge’s dismissal does not mark the end of Melia’s legal woes.
He, along with girlfriend Heather Lewis, was arrested in April 2008 for sexually assaulting three girls over a five-year-period.
Authorities investigating those charges reportedly uncovered videos on his computer of a girl being “subjected to sexual activity” in addition to taped encounters between Melia and the calves.
How does a guy like this get to be a cop.