Three men face criminal charges for allegedly torturing an opossum while it was still alive. The attack was recorded and the video was posted online.
Keokuk residents Jerry McGee, 19; Casey Taylor, 19; and Austin Salyers, 18, are each charged with one count of misdemeanor animal torture.
Animal torture is defined by the state as inflicting severe physical pain upon an animal with the depraved or sadistic intent to cause prolonged suffering or death.
According to complaints filed by Lee County Attorney Clinton Boddicker, the three men found an opossum in a parking lot of the River City Mall in Keokuk.
Boddicker stated that one of the defendants swung the animal around by its tail while the other two hit the animal with a blunt object. He said the video showed the men laughing and making light of the situation.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources said in a statement Tuesday afternoon that the video appeared online in early May. The department said it received numerous complaints, as did local law enforcement.