SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 8, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — An 18-year-old Woods Cross man is facing 23 felony charges related to the alleged torture of four guinea pigs obtained from pet supply stores across the Wasatch Front.
Samuel J. Webster was charged with 18 felony counts of distributing animal crush videos on YouTube, one felony count of creating an animal crush video, and four felony counts of animal crushing, says a statement issued by the Department of Justice, District of Utah.
“The term ‘animal crush video’ as defined under federal law, makes it illegal to depict, via photograph, motion-picture film, video, digital recording or electronic image, actual conduct in which one or more living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians is intentionally crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury, and is obscene,” the DOJ Utah statement says.
According to allegations in the indictment, Webster obtained the four guinea pigs from pet supply stores in Farmington, Salt Lake City, and West Jordan, in October of 2021.
“Shortly thereafter, it is alleged that Webster posted 23 videos of himself torturing the guinea pigs and posted the videos to multiple YouTube accounts. It is alleged that Webster posted the videos with graphic titles including ‘Guinea Pig Torture’ and ‘Torture is Fun,'” the statement says.
“After posting the videos on YouTube, Webster allegedly posted comments to his own videos reinforcing his desires about killing and torturing guinea pigs.”
Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah are prosecuting the case. FBI Special Agents are conducting the investigation.