By David Smiley, The Miami Herald
MIAMI — Two South Florida models won’t be prosecuted for their roles in twisted fetish films that depicted women engaging in sex acts while torturing and killing farm animals.
Prosecutors on Thursday dropped all charges against Stephanie Hird and Sara Zamora, arrested and charged last month by investigators looking into the filming of so-called animal “crush” videos.
Investigators said last month that Zamora, 28, and Hird, 29, tortured and killed bunnies, fish and chickens during the shooting of a series of films made by a South Florida boat captain and sold on a site called “SOS Barn.”
Police said Zamora cut a chicken’s neck using hedge clippers and karate-chopped bunnies while engaged in a sex act with a man. Hird was accused of squishing live fish while dressed in a skimpy outfit, torturing rabbits, shooting rats and setting a pile of the wounded rodents on fire, according to a warrant.
But in interviews outside a Miami courtroom, both women denied doing anything criminal and said the films were made as long ago as 2004 — long past the statute of limitations had run out against animal cruelty charges.
“We’re the victims,” said Zamora, who denied being involved in any sexual acts during the production of the films. “We were manipulated and convinced that these things were alright. And unfortunately they were very wrong and now we have to pay the consequences, even if it was 10 years ago.”
Hird’s attorney, Lody Jean, said her client should never have been arrested because the state was too late to pursue charges based on an incident from about eight years ago. And Hird said that while she worked for boat captain Adam Redford’s company, she never harmed any animals in the first place.
“The truth always comes out. I wasn’t guilty from the get-go,” Hird said. “Those were other models.”
Attempts to reach Redford, who police say was behind the videos, were not immediately successful Thursday. Redford is listed as a co-defendant by police, but has not been arrested or charged.
Detectives from Miami-Dade’s agricultural unit learned of the video clips from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. They charged Zamora with eight felony counts of animal cruelty, and Hird with five counts on the same charges.
It’s not yet clear why prosecutors dropped charges Thursday. The Miami-Dade state attorney’s office did not immediately respond to questions about why the charges were dropped.
Photo: “orangejack” via Flickr