A Washington man won’t stand trial for allegedly sexually assaulting a beaver that had been hit by a car.
KXLY reported that the prosecutors dropped animal cruelty and possession of methamphetamine charges against Richard Delp, 35, Thursday after a mental evaluation determined competency was unlikely to be restored even with treatment. A woman reportedly called the police on Delp last September, alleging she caught him lying with the dying animal with his pants down.
The caller claimed the beaver had been hit by a car, prompting her to get supplies to tend to it. She allegedly returned to find Delp assaulting the injured animal, which didn’t survive.
Shortly after the incident, Delp, who’s reportedly homeless, attempted to confess in court but was advised to consult with his attorney before doing so. At the time, he claimed he was high on meth when he sexually assaulted the dying beaver, according to the Tri-City Herald.
The newspaper reported that when the woman who called police confronted Delp, he responded, “It’s just a beaver.” Officers arrived at Columbia Park in Kennewick to find the beaver dead and Delp had fled the scene; they reportedly located Delp down the trail, in possession of a syringe containing meth.
“Because of these facts the State is dismissing our charges without prejudice against Mr. Delp and authorizing Eastern State Hospital to evaluate him for civil commitment,” Benton County Prosecutor Craig Swenson confirmed to KXLY.
According to the news station, Delp will remain hospitalized until doctors determine his medical illness is controlled and that it’s unlikely he’ll commit a similar crime.
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