Man cleared of having sex with co-worker's dog
LACROSSE, Wis. -- A western Wisconsin man accused of molesting a co-worker's golden retriever was convicted Wednesday of trespassing and disorderly conduct but acquitted of more serious charges.
LACROSSE, Wis. -- A western Wisconsin man accused of molesting a co-worker’s golden retriever was convicted Wednesday of trespassing and disorderly conduct but acquitted of more serious charges.
A jury found 44-year-old Daniel Reinsvold of Onalaska not guilty of sexual gratification with an animal and animal mistreatment after Reinsvold testified he let himself into the West Salem home because he was in urgent need of a bathroom and did not have sexual contact with the dog.
“This is false,” Reinsvold said on the witness stand. “This has torn me and my family apart.”
The La Crosse County jury of six men and six women deliberated for about an hour and a half after a one-day trial that pitted Reinsvold’s word against that of a 17-year-old girl who said she came home to find him on top of the family dog.
Sabrina MacRogers testified that she walked into her basement on Feb. 29 and saw a man - later identified as Reinsvold - with his pants down, on his hands and knees, over the dog. She said he stood and quickly pulled up his pants, and the dog, Cooper, came over to her looking as if he’d been scolded.
MacRogers said she was shaken and went to the bathroom. When she emerged, Reinsvold was gone.
She testified she called her father: “I said, ‘Dad, there was a man in our house screwing Cooper.’”
Reinsvold returned to work, where he told Aaron MacRogers, “I think I scared your daughter.”
Aaron MacRogers broke down while describing the day and his initial reluctance to go to police.
“I was confused at first. I didn’t want to do anything to a friend - someone I thought was a friend,” he said. “My trust was violated. My home was violated. My daughter’s innocence was violated. Based on what she said, my dog was violated.”
A veterinarian testified that Cooper acted traumatized and had a clinched sphincter when he was brought in later that day.
Reinsvold argued he suffers from an intestinal disorder that causes sudden, uncontrollable bowel movements.
“Not to get too graphic, but there are emergencies that occur in very short order,” attorney Chris Dyer told the jury.
On that day, Reinsvold said, he had lunch with his wife at a restaurant but left early because he was not feeling well. On his way back to his job at Teleperformance, Reinsvold said, he realized he needed to go and decided to stop at the MacRogers home.
“That’s all he had on his mind, was finding a toilet,” Dyer said.
“You risked going to a friend’s house on the chance they left their door open with the chance you might poop on their floor?” Assistant District Attorney Susan Donskey asked.
“Yes,” Reinsvold said.
Reinsvold said he heard Cooper whining and let him out. When he came back in, the dog jumped on him, knocking his phone out of his hand. Reinsvold said he was bending over to pick it up when he heard someone come in.
Reinsvold said he felt comfortable entering his co-worker’s home and had been there multiple times to help with household repairs.
On one occasion he helped MacRogers mount a TV on the wall when they accidentally cracked the screen. Reinsvold testified that he let himself in when no one was home in order to replace the television.
“I wanted it to be a surprise,” he said.
Donskey said it was unreasonable to believe Reinsvold thought it was “appropriate to let their dog out with no restraints - no leash, no nothing - on the hope that he was going to come back inside.”
Dyer argued it was Sabrina MacRogers’ story that didn’t add up.
“She walked into her house and there was a stranger attacking her dog, a half-naked stranger … is it reasonable she would approach this stranger … and say ‘Hi,’ exchange pleasantries?” Dyer told the jury. “It’s just not reasonable to believe a person would react that way.”