Convicted sex offender faces charges for alleged sex act with dog

Posted: Updated:
FARMINGDALE -

A convicted sex offender faces animal cruelty and sexual misconduct charges after allegedly engaging in a sex act with a dog.

According to the Suffolk SPCA, the alleged incident happened Sept. 13 at a home in Melville. SPCA Chief Roy Gross says the dog’s owner walked in on Vincent Persico, 64, during the alleged sex act.

Persico was convicted 20 years ago of sexual abuse. According to the state's sex offender registry, his three young victims were 1 and 2 years old at the time.

Laura Ahearn, of Parents for Megan's Law, says there is a linkage between child sexual abuse and animal sexual abuse.

“Over half of male sex offenders and female sex offenders and nearly 40 percent of juvenile sex offenders have admitted to having sexual contact with animals,” she says.

No one answered the door at Persico's home Thursday, but News 12 did hear several dogs barking inside. Persico’s neighbors in Farmingdale described him as friend, mild-mannered and a good neighbor.

Persico was released on bail and is due back in court in November. The misdemeanor charges he faces are punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

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