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Texas woman sentenced to ten years in prison for 'crush video' animal cruelty

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Ashley Richards was sentenced on Thursday morning to ten years in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of animal cruelty for torturing small animals in "crush videos" reported Houston's Chron.com.

Richards, 23, was originally accused of violating a federal law for "animal crush videos" in 2012, however the charges were dropped the following year citing the law was too broad and interfered with First Amendment free speech rights.

In May 2013, Richards was re-indicted for five counts of animal cruelty by the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

Crush videos" named after the women who wear scanty clothing crush small animals to death with high heels, screwdrivers, knives, and meat cleavers. Richards is reported to have admitted to killing two animals a day through the years as her partner, Brent Justice, 52, filmed the horrific acts.

Justice remains in Harris County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond.

Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson prosecuted the case and stated:

"While we are satisfied that the defendant received the maximum penalty in these cases, we will fight at the next legislative session to increase the punishment range for this offense to better protect these animals and all citizens of Harris County."

In April, Sara Zamora, was arrested in Miami and charged with eight counts of animal cruelty for the torture and killing of animals while performing sexual acts in "crush videos." The pornographic video titled "SOS Barn" shows Zamora, 28, starring in the movie decapitating chickens and killing rabbits as she engages in sexual acts.

Crush videos were criminalized in 1999 making it illegal to create, sell or possess animal torture depictions, however in 2008, the United States Court of Appeals invalidated the ban stating it was a violation of freedom of speech and the law on the books was too broad.

In 2010, President Obama signed the bill which prohibits interstate commerce in animal crush videos.

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