An Ipswich man who admitted he engaged in sexual acts with two calves near Bath received a short prison sentence, but he won’t have to turn himself in for at least 30 days.
James M. Schumacher, 58, was sentenced on two charges of felony bestiality on Jan. 10, and received a two-year prison sentence with all but 60 days suspended on each charge. Both sentences will be served at the same time. Bestiality prohibits sexual acts with animals.
Schumacher was also placed on probation for five years, must pay $808 in fines and court costs and restitution of $726 for veterinary bills and $2,100 to cover the cost of his psychosexual evaluation.
Following sentencing defense attorney Marshall Lovrien asked if his client could delay reporting to prison until he made a decision about appealing. Judge Scott Myren allowed a 30-day delay.
Charges stem from a July 2017 incident during which the Brown County Sheriff’s Office arrested Schumacher after he was found on a farm near Bath with a 4-week-old calf. Schumacher was eventually charged with six counts of bestiality, admitting to two charges — one act between April 26, 2016, and Jan. 1, 2017, the second on July 27, 2017. Schumacher admitted he inserted his genitals into the mouth of two different calves.
During the hearing, the owner of the calves, Sarah Schumacher, who is not related to the defendant, said the incidents have made her feel unsafe in her home. She said she is on guard every time her dogs start barking.
“My animals are my sanctuary,” she said, noting feelings of anger, fear and disgust.
Many of the arguments at sentencing concerned whether James Schumacher should receive probation, a suspended sentence or a suspended imposition of sentence. A suspended imposition would have kept the incident from Schumacher’s record if he followed probation rules. But Myren said he doesn’t grant them in cases involving violent crimes or sex crimes.
Deputy State’s Attorney Ernest Thompson argued that a suspended imposition was not appropriate in this case. He said Schumacher gained access to another person’s property through his job and engaged in a sexual act.
Thompson said the veterinary bills are in connection to injuries to the calf’s neck as a result of Schumacher twisting its head.
While he admitted that this is a case in which probation could be granted, Thompson said there are also aggravating circumstances, including the fact there were multiple offenses.
Lovrien argued that probation should be granted and a suspended imposition would be appropriate because Schumacher has a limited criminal history.
But Lovrien could not offer a comparison to a bestiality case, as he said there haven’t been any convictions since 1989, which is the limit of the state’s electronic database.
In court, Schumacher said he will never return to the farm where the offense occurred. He also said the incident has been tough on him and his family.
Lovrien said Schumacher also had difficulty finding a new job during this time, but has recently found new employment.