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Aiken Man Gets 3 Years for Having Sex with Horse & Possessing Child Porn

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An Aiken man was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for sexually assaulting a horse and possessing child porn.

Damian Connor, 31, had confessed to being the culprit behind a high-profile sexual assault on a horse that his wife complained about on Facebook and to local news outlets. A warrant says he “inserted his hand into the vagina of a horse with the intent to sexually stimulate the horse and himself.” The horse suffered trauma to the vagina as a result.

His wife, Abigail Ronco, was later connected and charged with two unrelated buggery incidents for sex with a horse. Those charges are pending.

After Connor’s arrest, he was found with child porn. He sent files to an undercover investigator, which constituted distribution and required a mandatory sentence of at least two years in prison.

On Wednesday, Connor pleaded guilty. In court, he was apologetic, saying he was committed to turning his life around. Dr. Thomas Martin testified on his behalf, saying Connor has been attending sex offender group therapy on a regular basis.

Resident Circuit Court Judge Courtney Clyburn Pope, of the Second Circuit, handed out the three-year sentence. On the child porn charge, she ordered eight years in prison, which was suspended to three years’ incarceration with four years on probation. On the buggery charge, Connor got five years suspended to three years in prison, to be served concurrently with the other sentence.

Connor will also be placed on the sex offender registry for both offenses once he is released. He will also be subject to review under South Carolina’s Sexually Violent Predator Act.

   Background. On Sept. 20, 2020, the sheriff’s office responded to Connor’s home on Willow Run Road for a burglary and animal call. In this investigation, Connor’s wife, Abigail Ronco, told deputies that her horse appeared to have been injured.  She said found her horse with a rope tied around a front and rear leg.

An investigation led to buggery charges against both of them in separate incidents.

Warrants say Ronco did “commit the abominable crime of buggery … by having vaginal intercourse with a horse” on their property at 169 Willow Run Road. The incidents took place in May 2019 and June 2019, according to warrants.

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Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle, The Augusta Press and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel.
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