Due to the graphic nature of the video, WMBD will not be attaching the video of animal cruelty to this story.
PEORIA COUNTY, Ill. (WMBD) — The man in a viral dog abuse video out of Dunlap is facing up to five years in prison for new felony charges.
Tuesday, 39-year-old Nicholas Prince was indicted for animal torture, a Class 3 felony, as well as animal cruelty, a Class A misdemeanor. Animal torture carries a two-to-five-year sentence.
“It was a pretty easy decision once we reviewed the police report and all the statements involved, as well the video footage,” said Hoos.
Prince’s bond was set at $25,000.
In the graphic video, Prince is shown repeatedly beating and punching 13-month-old Mika, a feisty German Shepherd who loves belly rubs, for nearly a minute.
Prince was originally arrested on a misdemeanor offense, but as more information and the brutal nature of the abuse surfaced, Hoos said it justified adding a felony charge and expediting the case through the Peoria County Grand Jury.
Furthermore, because Prince was arrested on a misdemeanor, he was allowed to post bond before the State’s Attorney’s office could review the case.
“I think this was an easy case. The difficult part was he was arrested on the front end as a misdemeanor…Had this been a felony arrest the person would have remained in custody until we review the matter,” said Hoos.
Hoos compared animal abuse cases to those involving small children.
“They can’t speak for themselves. An animal can’t say ‘that hurt my leg’ or that hurt me or I’m dying, just like a small child can’t. I think that’s where society really needs to step in protect them, and I think that’s probably why we’ve had the outpouring of anger and frustration in the past few weeks,” she said.
About 20 protestors gathered outside Peoria County Courthouse on Tuesday afternoon. They said they want justice for Mika. They said Mika should be rehomed because they don’t believe she is safe at Prince’s ex-girlfriend’s house in Dunlap.