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North-central South Dakota man will serve 60 days for bestiality

ABERDEEN, S.D. — 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 today, 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 laws prohibit sexual acts with animals.

Schumacher was also placed on probation for five years and must pay $808 in fines and court costs, and $726 in restitution 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 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.

In court, James 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 had difficulty finding a new job, but has recently found new employment.