Is this New York judge correct in the cat kicking trial of Andre Robinson?
You may remember the unpleasant story about a stray cat called King who was kicked by a young man, Andre Robinson. It was well covered in the online media and on this website. The cat was kicked over a hedge, about 10 to 20 feet apparently. King was eventually re-homed having been looked after by the ASPCA.
The ASPCA treated the cat’s injuries in their animal hospital after the attack for, “tissue injuries and bruising.” This is reported on their website.
Coming to the trial of Andre Robinson which is now only just taking place, it is reported that the Brooklyn judge has thrown out the prosecution’s case on the basis that she was not satisfied that the cat had been injured.
As I understand it, the prosecutors were prosecuting under § 353. “Overdriving, torturing and injuring animals; failure to provide proper sustenance”, which makes the injury of either a wild or tame animal a class A misdemeanour. The law is wider than that but I’ve selected the relevant parts of it.
Incidentally, the prosecutors could not proceed on the basis of aggravated cruelty to animals because there was no intention to cause serious physical injury, on the face of it.
In any case, there appears to be conflicting information regarding this trial because as stated the cat had suffered bruising and tissue injuries as reported by a reputable organisation and yet the judge (a Supreme Court justice, incidentally) has concluded, on hearing the evidence, that:
“Maybe it was injured, or maybe it’s fine,”
As a result the judge has ordered that the original charge for a class A misdemeanour be dropped and allowed a lesser charge to proceed which is a class B misdemeanour for attempting to injure the cat.
Apparently, a veterinarian at provided evidence in support of the prosecution’s case that the cat had travelled sufficient distance to suffer pain and injury but had not actually stated that the cat had been injured and recorded that fact. Although, as mentioned, the ASPCA had done that.
I think this case is interesting because it does highlight the difficulties in mounting a successful prosecution for cat cruelty.
Fortunately, if the prosecution proves successful under the lesser charge, Andre Robinson faces a maximum jail term of 90 days. I would be very surprised if he receives such a sentence and indeed it is certainly quite possible that he will get off. This will annoy the many supporters of King who are keen to see justice done.