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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Local Review

'Crush Video' Defendant Pleads No Contest

November 09, 1999

POMONA — A 35-year-old woman accused of stomping mice and rats to death in a fetish "crush video" pleaded no contest to three felony counts of animal cruelty.

Diane Aileen Chaffin of La Puente was placed on three years' probation by Pomona Superior Court Judge David S. Milton after entering her plea Monday. The judge suspended a three-year prison term, but ordered Chaffin to serve a year in jail or perform the equivalent in community service, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Manuel Garcia.

Chaffin and Anaheim resident Gary Lynn Thomason, 48, were arrested in August after a yearlong undercover investigation of crush videos. The tapes are sold over the Internet, presumably to people who obtain sexual pleasure from watching a woman crush rats, mice and other small animals.

Chaffin was the star of "The 'Tails' of Charlie's Ankles." In a video shown at her preliminary hearing, a woman in high-heeled sandals and other shoes could be heard taunting and then crushing mice.

The House passed legislation in October that imposes sentences of up to five years for those trafficking in crush videos.

Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Simi Valley), the measure's chief sponsor, said last month that state laws against cruelty to animals are unlikely to stop those involved in the interstate or overseas marketing of such videos.

Thomason, who prosecutors claim videotaped the acts, has been free on $30,000 bail. His trial has been scheduled for next Tuesday.

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