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Sex offender sent to prison for beating girlfriend's pets

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CBS News Colorado Live

A 27-year-old Boulder man was sentenced to 12 years in the Colorado Department of Correction on Friday. 

Nathaniel Stark received a prison term of 12 years following a disturbing case which found him responsible for injuries - some of which were lethal - to his girlfriend's pets. 

Nathaniel Stark Boulder County Sheriff's Office

According to a press release from the 12th Judicial District Attorney's Office in Boulder, Stark was labeled a sexually violent predator and sentenced in early 2018 to 10 years of intensive supervision. 

But "the defendant's girlfriend's animals began showing signs of injuries," as stated in the press release, shortly after he was released from a halfway house in August 2019.

Within three months of Stark and the woman living together, two of her cats died of injuries which a veterinarian determined were consistent with strangulation and head trauma.

In February 2020, Stark "severely beat his girlfriend's dog," per the press release. The dog was removed their custody and Stark was arrested. He posted a $300 bond and was released from jail.

Stark was then arrested in October of that year for having contact with animals, a violation of his bond conditions. Stark again posted bond, this time a $4,000 surety bond, with the help of a commercial bondsman. 

Stark then fled the state but was caught months later in Indiana and returned to Colorado. He reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in May. 

"The defendant's abuse of his partner's animals in this case was just one act of violence in his criminal history," Deputy District Attorney Jenny McClintock stated in the press release. "It is important to take these cases seriously as they involve victims who have no voice and are often used as coercive controlling tactics in a domestic violence relationship. We are pleased with the sentence that the Court imposed."

District Attorney Michael Dougherty stated, "Given his prior conduct and the cruel acts involving his partner's pets, the defendant clearly presented a risk to others."  

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