Two models will not be prosecuted for their roles in fetish films that depicted women engaging in sex acts while torturing and killing farm animals.
US prosecutors on Thursday dropped all charges against Stephanie Hird and Sara Zamora, arrested and charged last month by investigators looking into the filming of so-called animal "crush" videos.
Investigators said last month that Zamora, 28, and Hird, 29, tortured and killed rabbits, fish and chickens during the shooting of films made by a boat captain in the state of Florida and sold on a website called "SOS Barn".
Police said Zamora cut a chicken's head off using hedge clippers and karate-chopped rabbits while engaged in a sex act with a man. Hird was accused of squishing live fish while dressed in a skimpy outfit, torturing rabbits, shooting rats and setting a pile of the wounded rodents on fire, according to a warrant.
Outside a Miami court, the women denied doing anything criminal and said the films were made as long ago as 2004, long past the statute of limitations had run out against cruelty charges. Zamora denied being involved in any sexual acts during the production of the films.
Hird said she worked for boat captain Adam Redford's company but never harmed animals. "Those were other models," she said. Redford is listed as a co-defendant by police, but has not been arrested or charged.