A 23-year-old man was sentenced to two years of probation Wednesday for posting YouTube videos of him and a boy spinning a dog by a harness, taping another animal’s genitals and shaking and throwing the small pets to the floor.
Joshua Moore, who was a ward of the state as a minor, apologized for the “disturbing” videos before Cook County Judge Carol Howard delivered his punishment for the four counts of misdemeanor depiction of animal cruelty.
"I was wrong,” Moore said at the closing of the one-day bench trial and sentencing hearing. "I was thinking immaturely. I was thinking childishly…I’m embarrassed."
Howard acquitted Moore of taping and hurting the Chihuahuas, terriers and mixes by forcing lemon juice down one’s throat, pushing a dog’s face in feces and hiding puppies from their mother.
More importantly, the judge also dismissed more than two dozen felony counts of animal torture and animal cruelty after a veterinarian from the city’s Animal Care and Control department testified that although the dogs may have may felt initial pain, they didn’t suffer any long-term “abnormalities” or “wounds” as a result of Moore’s behavior last year.
Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Samara Cotter passionately argued that Moore taped the "torture"on his iPhone for laughs and countless YouTube hits at the South Austin home of his then 13-year-old friend.
Following Moore and the boy’s arrest, five dogs and five puppies were removed from the residence, in the 200 block of North Lockwood.
Just because Moore "chose victims who can’t speak for themselves, doesn’t mean the videos can’t speak for themselves," Cotter said.
"He subjected them to various different acts for his amusement…He’s proud of it and he’ll show it to anybody who wants to see.”
When Howard viewed five videos of the dogs in question, Moore smirked — a grin his attorney later told reporters was more of a “nervous” reaction.
Bruce Eli Mosbacher pointed out to the judge that despite his unstable background, Moore, who is undergoing mental health counseling, has no prior criminal record.
"He’s a remarkable man....," the defense attorney said. "He’s well-spoken and has been on the debate team of all six high schools he attended."
As part of his sentence, Moore has to adhere to a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew for the first year of probation and cannot be in the presence of animals.
Moore’s juvenile co-defendant was sentenced to two years probation last summer.