A Washington man accused of torturing and starving animals to death has now been charged with the rape and sexual molestation of two young girls who say the abuse went on for years.
While David Williford, 27, was in custody in Thurston County on animal abuse charges, officers uncovered evidence he sexually assaulted the two children in Pierce County beginning when they were 5 and 8 years old.
Williford was first arrested in February after officers found starving dogs, rats and rabbits living among dead animal carcasses in his blood smeared Olympia-area home.
He pled not guilty to six counts of first-degree animal cruelty and six counts of second-degree animal cruelty and was released on $50,000 bail.
While investigating the animal abuse allegations, police received a call from one of Williford’s acquaintances saying he had abused and raped two small girls for several years. Interviews with the girls confirmed the accusations.
He was then charged with six counts of first-degree child molestation, two counts of second-degree rape and second-degree rape of a child. He has pled not guilty and bail was set at $100,000.
The accusations of child abuse come days after a Florida man found his dead pet Pomeranian left on his doorstep, with a note by his killers saying, “We beat it 2 death lol HAHAHA!”
Watch the graphic video here.
Veterinarians said the dog Fox, found covered in red sand similar to baseball field clay, suffered 10 broken ribs, missing teeth and a broken back. Police are still investigating the case, but have no leads so far.
Experts say animal abuse is a warning sign that others in the household may be suffering from abuse as well. Women and children who live in households with abused animals are more likely to be victims of abuse themselves.
Children who witness or participate in animal abuse are more likely to become abusers later in life.
In July, a 25-year-old South Carolina woman was arrested after police found her two-year-old son unconscious and surrounded by dozens of dead and dying animals in his dirty stench filled home.
She was charged with three counts of child neglect, one count of child abuse and cruelty to animals while her other two children were removed from the home along with nearly 90 animals.
Anyone with information on the abuse or neglect of either children or animals is urged to contact their local law enforcement office.