CONWAY, S.C. — A South Carolina man caught on video having sex with a horse was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison after pleading guilty for the second time in two years to abusing the creature.
Rodell Vereen was also ordered never to go near the stable where the horse's owner caught him and held him for authorities at shotgun point over the summer. He apologized to the woman and to himself after admitting to buggery at the Horry County courthouse.
"I'm sorry about what I've done. I didn't mean to do it. It's my fault. I'm sorry for what I've done to myself," Vereen said during Wednesday's court hearing.
Vereen was arrested in July after Barbara Kenley caught him entering the barn at Lazy B Stables in Longs, about 20 miles northeast of Myrtle Beach. She had been staking out the stable for more than a week after setting up a surveillance camera and videotaping Vereen's assault on her 21-year-old horse named Sugar.
Kenley said she became suspicious because her horse was acting strange and getting infections, and she noticed things were moved around the barn and dirt was piled up near the horse's stall.
It wasn't the first time she'd caught Vereen. In late 2007, Kenley found him asleep in the hay after assaulting her horse. For that offense, he also pleaded guilty to buggery, received probation and had to register as a sex offender.
On Wednesday, the judge sentenced Vereen to five years in prison, but he will only have to serve three years behind bars as long as he successfully completes two years of probation. Vereen also was ordered to undergo additional mental treatment after he gets out of prison and was told to stay away from Kenley's stable.
Kenley told The Sun News of Myrtle Beach she was mostly happy with the verdict, but wished Vereen had got more prison time.
"I've been through hell for the last year and it's caused a lot of hardship," Kenley told the newspaper. "There's a lot of ridicule and jokes going around about this thing. And a person can only take so much."