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Licking County man pleads guilty to paying people to torture monkeys on camera

Courtroom gavel with scales of justice in the background.
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Editor's Note: This story contains graphic descriptions of animal cruelty.

A Licking County man pleaded guilty to paying people in Indonesia to torture monkeys and then distributed videos of the acts in the United States.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Ohio says Ronald P. Bedra, of Etna, used chat apps to give money to people in Indonesia to mutilate and torture monkeys on camera.

The prosecutors said the videos "depicted acts of sadistic violence against baby and adult monkeys, including having digits and limbs severed and being forcibly sodomized with a heated screwdriver."

Officials said these types of material are known as "animal crush" videos.

Bedra was caught mailing thumb drives containing 64 of the videos to a co-conspirator in Wisconsin.

Bedra could face up to five years in prison.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and FBI investigated the case.

George Shillcock is a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. He joined the WOSU newsroom in April 2023 following three years as a reporter in Iowa with the USA Today Network.