Nicholase Hill Credit: Courtesy of Knox County Jail

ROCKLAND, Maine — The Hope man who had sex with a dog and broadcasted the act over social media will avoid jail time if he undergoes counseling and adheres to an agreement reached with prosecutors.

Nicholase Hill, 28, pleaded guilty Oct. 31 to a charge of animal cruelty. He will pay a $250 fine but won’t serve any time for the crime if he undergoes a mental health evaluation and counseling, as outlined in the court deal. He will also be expected to complete 60 hours of community service and have no contact with dogs.

If he fails to meet those conditions, Hill will spend 14 days in jail and pay the $250 fine. Police say Hill had sex with a dog multiple times, and on at least one occasion recorded the act and sent the video to a woman via Facebook Messenger. He was arrested in late August about a week after police received a complaint from an individual alleging that Hill had been having sex with his dog, according to an affidavit filed by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators were able to obtain the video that Hill allegedly sent to a woman in February of himself having sex with a dog. Police interviewed the woman, who said that Hill “wanted her to get involved” in a threesome with himself and the dog, according to the affidavit. The woman refused.

Hill initially pleaded not guilty to the animal cruelty charge but changed his plea last week as part of a deferred disposition.

The agreement comes just a week after a Knox woman convicted of animal cruelty was sentenced to 20 days in jail for locking a dozen cats inside a storage unit without food and water. Five of the cats died. The woman was barred from every owning cats again.

In 2018, the Animal Legal Defense Fund ranked Maine’s animal protection laws third strongest in the nation. Only Illinois and Oregon had stronger laws to protect animals from cruelty.