An 18-year-old Palm Beach Gardens man and his mother, a middle-school science teacher, are permanently barred from owning or possessing animals, a judge ruled on Thursday after watching a short film of the man having sex in his bedroom with a German shepherd.
Palm Beach County Judge Frank Castor also ordered the county be given custody of the woman's pets -- two German shepherds and two cats -- and ruled that both she and her son jointly pay the county $1,848 in boarding costs and other fees.
The man, who was 17 at the time of the recorded activity, did not appear in court. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel is not identifying him because he was a juvenile at the time of the activity.
His mother, whose residence is where the sexual activity occurred, teaches at a public school. She testified at Thursday's hearing, insisting repeatedly that she was unaware of her son's sexual acts with her male German shepherd. She said she found the behavior reprehensible and out of character for her son, whom she said is a recently graduated high school honors student.
Thursday's hearing included graphic details of the man's sexual acts, including descriptions of the film that Palm Beach County Sheriff's investigators said hey found stored on his personal computer in his bedroom.
Testimony was provided by a detective, county Animal Care & Control officials, including a chief veterinarian, and an expert animal trainer who said the videotape indicates the dog showed signs of submission and pain. The woman urged the judge not to take away her dogs, and said not allowing her to have future pets "is punishing the mother for the sins of a son."