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DA drops charges alleging Pittsburgh lawyer had sex with dog |

DA drops charges alleging Pittsburgh lawyer had sex with dog

Ben Schmitt
| Monday, January 21, 2019 4:14 p.m
Ivan Devoren

Animal cruelty charges were dropped against a Pittsburgh attorney who police had alleged was having sex with his dog.

Defense lawyers told the Tribune-Review on Monday that Ivan Devoren, 62, of Highland Park, never had sex with his dog, which is why prosecutors dropped those charges.

They said Devoren had a drug problem and has been clean for 10 months. Devoren pleaded guilty to drug-related and other charges.

“Absolutely nothing happened with this animal that was sexual in any way,” said defense attorney T. Brent McCune.

Mike Manko, a spokesman with the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office, said the dog, a yellow Labrador retriever named Snoopy, is with a foster family and is “healthy and happy.”

“We offered to withdraw the animal charge in order to have him surrender the dog to the foster family,” he said.

Manko declined comment on the defense lawyers’ assertion that the animal abuse never occurred.

Devoren was originally charged with 10 counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, 10 counts of sexual intercourse with an animal and four drug violations. In a separate incident, DeVoren was charged March 14 with discharging a firearm into an occupied structure, his apartment, and disorderly conduct.

During a Jan. 11 plea deal, the district attorney’s office withdrew the cruelty to animals charges, and Devoren pleaded guilty to the drug charges, discharging a firearm and disorderly conduct. He will be on probation for four years and three months. McCune and attorney Randall Ricciuti said Devoren struggled with a heroin and cocaine problem.

The alleged animal cruelty incidents took place over the course of several days in January 2018 and were overheard by DeVoren’s neighbor, who said he heard suspicious sounds through the wall and reported them to police, according to a criminal complaint.

McCune said the neighbor misinterpreted the sounds, explaining that Devoren suffers from neurological ticks that were exacerbated by drug use.

Police obtained a search warrant Feb. 1 and seized dog bedding and sheets from the apartment on Azimuth Court. They also found crack cocaine in plain view, according to a criminal complaint.

A humane officer took custody of Snoopy, police said at the time, and a later exam showed injuries to the dog.

Ricciuti said a second veterinary opinion showed the dog was not sexually abused.

“It was a mistake of fact and almost a rush to judgment,” he said. “None of this happened.”

As part of the plea deal, Devoren is not allowed to be around any pets and cannot possess a firearm.

Ben Schmitt is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Ben at 412-320-7991, or via Twitter at @Bencschmitt.

Ben Schmitt is a Tribune-Review assistant news editor. You can contact Ben at 412-320-7991, or via Twitter .

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