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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's new anti-bestiality law was prompted in part by the case of a man charged with engaging for years in sexual intercourse with dogs. Similar laws against human-animal sexual acts are passing around the country.

In Ohio, animal-rights groups have joined with domestic violence shelters, psychologists and law enforcers to fight the perception that bestiality is little more than a joke. One criminologist reports a 600-percent increase in such crimes over the past seven years.

Experts say the internet has allowed like-minded individuals seeking to share animals for human sexual purposes to more easily communicate.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation released animal cruelty crime statistics for the first time last year. Bestiality is now seen as a red flag for acts of human violence, including against children, women and family members.

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