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Bail set at $75,000 for Tumwater man arrested on 13 counts of animal cruelty

Hunter Scott Christian (left), who is accused of 13 counts of first-degree animal cruelty, appeared in Thurston County Superior Court on Monday. He is shown here next to public defender Luke Swinney.
Hunter Scott Christian (left), who is accused of 13 counts of first-degree animal cruelty, appeared in Thurston County Superior Court on Monday. He is shown here next to public defender Luke Swinney. rboone@theolympian.com

Bail was set at $75,000 Monday for Hunter Scott Christian, a 50-year-old Tumwater man who was arrested Saturday on suspicion of 13 counts of first-degree animal cruelty.

The state alleges that Christian engaged in sexual activity with at least three dogs, including Zeus, a 7-month-old male Rottweiler, and Shadow, an older Chihuahua mix. Both dogs were removed from Christian’s residence on Saturday and placed in the care of Steamboat Animal Hospital.

Christian appeared in Thurston County Superior Court Monday afternoon before Commissioner Nathan Kortokrax.

Before Thurston County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer Lord addressed the current allegations, she pointed out that Christian was arrested in January on suspicion of possessing child pornography. He already posted $10,000 bail in that case.

“The pending charges, in addition to the current allegations (of animal cruelty), would indicate that the most vulnerable in our community are not safe,” Lord said. “He preys upon those who are not able to defend themselves.”

Calling the allegations “alarming,” Lord requested that bail be set at $100,000 and that he be prohibited from having contact with children or animals.

Christian’s public defender, Luke Swinney, suggested bail of $5,000. He described Christian as a longtime resident who has no criminal convictions. He also took issue with the request not to have contact with children, saying the request has no relevance to the animal cruelty allegations.

Kortokrax settled on $75,000 bail and ordered that Christian have no contact with animals.

A few animals rights activists gathered in the courtroom to observe the hearing. At its conclusion, Tracy Clark, who calls herself an animal welfare activist, said “thank you” out loud to Kortokrax before exiting the room.

Charging documents give the following account:

It was during the investigation into allegations that Christian possessed child pornography that law enforcement discovered the photos and videos of sexual activity with at least three dogs, including Zeus, Shadow and an unknown black Labrador.

“The videos showed Christian engaging in sexual acts with the dogs and having the dogs have physical contact with his sexual organs,” the charging documents read.

During the search of his home, police found sex toys, sexual aids and products, which Christian also allegedly used in the videos.

Christian is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 27.

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