The federal courthouse in Salt Lake City is pictured on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. A Woods Cross man was federally indicted last week on charges accusing him of filming himself torturing guinea pigs and posting the videos online.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
A Davis County man who is already facing animal cruelty charges in state court is now accused in federal court of filming and torturing guinea pigs and putting the videos online.
Samuel Jonas Webster, 18, of Woods Cross, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Utah last Wednesday on 23 counts relating to the depiction of animal cruelty. Webster was booked into the Davis County Jail on Monday.
Webster purchased three guinea pigs from pet stores in Farmington, Salt Lake City and West Jordan between Oct. 16 and Oct. 25.
Charging documents detail 18 videos uploaded to a YouTube account — which has since been taken down — that allegedly shows Webster breaking the guinea pigs’ bones, cutting them with knives and ripping off body parts, among other explicit, graphic forms of torture. The videos also featured names like “Guinea Pig Torture,” “Ripped a piece of her ear” and “Torture is addicting.”
Investigators say Webster would post comments on the YouTube videos in response to people calling for his arrest. Webster wrote online, “Killing and torture is my favorite activity,” “Somebody help me before I kill everyone else” and “Torture is like a drug to me, it’s very addicting. Hearing the scream of pain is so satisfying,” according to charging documents.
The federal court documents are similar to those filed in Farmington’s 2nd District Court on Nov. 1. Webster was charged with five counts of aggravated cruelty to an animal, a class A misdemeanor.
Police in West Bountiful and Woods Cross received multiple tips in late October about the YouTube channel that featured at least 17 videos depicting the torture and killing of guinea pigs. Investigators “found the videos disturbing and coordinated an online effort to search for the individual responsible,” before finding evidence that Webster was behind the channel, according to state court charges.
Before the YouTube channel was removed for multiple policy violations, online sleuths saved the videos and took screenshots of the videos. Those investigators later …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Utah News