James Lee Lyons, a 52-year-old registered sex offender, was jailed Monday after he allegedly raped his neighbor’s dog.
According to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, a man walked into a Sheriff’s Office outpost Monday stating that he wished to press charges after learning that one of his dogs had been sexually abused by a next-door neighbor.
Investigators say the man explained that he attempted to bring his two dogs inside the house last Saturday after noticing that it was beginning to storm outside.
When one of the dogs failed to come to the house, he checked around his yard and a nearby shed to no avail.
Moments later, Lyons was seen walking out of the same shed with the lost dog in his arms. Lyons told his neighbor that he found the dog in the shed, however the neighbor found the story odd since he had just looked inside the shed a few moments earlier.
Throughout the day, the man noticed that the formerly-missing dog walked like it had been injured and acted withdrawn. The man took his pet to a local vet who confirmed that the animal had been injured in a manner that would be consistent with sexual abuse or bestiality (injured rectum).
The Sheriff’s Office Special Victim’s Unit investigated the case and arrested Lyons as a result.
Lyons was booked into jail and charged with animal cruelty and sexual activity involving an animal. His bond has been set at $11,000.
Lyons was convicted in 1998 on charges of attempted sexual battery on a child and sexual act with a child while in a familial role.
According to state records, he was also charged and convicted of sexual battery/coercion of a child by an adult in 2007.