Pa. Woman pleads guilty in dog-fighting case
By The Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, 8:30 p.m.
WEST CHESTER — A Southeastern Pennsylvania woman pleaded guilty to running a dog-fighting ring out of the home she shared with her husband and five children and has agreed to testify against him.
Laura Acampora, 34, of Coatesville pleaded guilty Tuesday in Chester County Court to three animal cruelty counts and charges of endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors and criminal conspiracy, according to the Daily Local News of West Chester.
Senior Judge Thomas Gavin told her that he had received multiple letters expressing outrage and demanding a strict sentence, but he would rule based on the facts.
Acampora, who didn't address the court other than answering questions about whether she understood the meaning of her pleas, was granted bail and released from prison.
She and her husband, 34-year-old Shane Santiago of Coatesville, who is scheduled for trial in November, were arrested in December after authorities went to the residence while investigating the remains of dead dogs found in the West Brandywine area.
“When we got into that home what we found was a nightmare,” District Attorney Tom Hogan said at the time of the couple's arrest. “This was a full-scale operation of not only dog fighting, but dog training, dog breeding, and dog killing.”
Investigators said as many as 16 pit bulls were kept in the home, which contained tools used to encourage aggression in the animals. They said plywood barriers were set up around the fighting area, and the walls and floor were spattered with blood.
Assistant District Attorney Priya DeSouza alleged that the couple put on dog fights and exposed their children, who were 3 to 15 years old at the time, to training and the eldest attended fights.
“Her children cared for the pit bulls that were being trained to attack other creatures,” DeSouza told the judge. She said one of the animals bit the eldest child, and Santiago killed that and another dog by hanging them in the basement. Officials also alleged that another dog was burned alive after fighting.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pennsylvania sting scouted private liquor store sites
- Philadelphia robbers steal $105K from armored truck
- Young Pakistani immigrant linked to Pennsylvania woman known as ‘Jihad Jane’ sentenced to prison
- Ex-Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff rejected as candidate to head Penn State investigation
- Dog wardens will canvass state for license compliance