Gladstone rancher accused of abusing animals says privacy was violated


The Gladstone rancher accused of neglecting and abusing nearly 100 animals was back in court for a motion hearing today.

At the Stark County Courthouse Gary Dassinger’s attorney, Thomas Murtha, made an argument to suppress and dismiss, based on evidence taken from his client’s ranch back in April.

He said the Stark County Sheriff’s Office violated Dassinger’s privacy and property rights, when they walked onto his land and took pictures of his animals, in enclosed spaces without a search warrant.

Dassinger feels the pictures of animal neglect and cruelty are a distortion of the truth.

” I had numerous animals go through fences. Animals were nervous. A lot of damage was done to fences, to animals, because of the invasion of privacy, ” said Dassinger.

Rep. Luke Simons, of the North Dakota State Legislature, who is also a rancher, testified in court today for the defense.

“Actually most farmers and ranchers would assume that they have a right to privacy. However, we are seeing that they don’t.  Right now basically, sheriff and police can just walk on to your property,” said Simons.

Judge Rhonda Ehlis made no ruling on the motion today, but did set a date for the trial to begin in the last week of February.

Dassinger is charged with four counts of animal cruelty and six counts of animal neglect.

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