Friday Harbor woman charged with animal cruelty

(Editor’s note: This article contains information about sexual acts with animals.)

Stephanie Nicole Romero-Suchara, 28, of Friday Harbor has been charged with two counts of animal cruelty in the first degree in San Juan County Superior Court.

According to documents filed on Feb. 5, Romero-Suchara allegedly engaged in sexual acts with two dogs, one of which she owns. The reporting party, who is not a resident of San Juan County, alerted the sheriff’s office that she had seen videos containing the defendant engaging in sexual activity with the dogs. She gained access to the videos and forwarded them to a deputy.

A total of 12 files were sent – 10 videos and two photographs. Romero-Suchara is “clearly identified” in some of the files, according to the probable cause statement. When interviewed, she reportedly admitted to the acts and said the videos were made with a cellphone in Friday Harbor approximately a year ago. The dogs were identified as one belonging to her and the other to her sister.

An arraignment is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 19. Romero-Suchara has no previous criminal history.

If found guilty and the court deems the animals’ treatment to have been severe and likely to reoccur, as a first-time offender Romero-Suchara would be prohibited from owning, caring for, or residing with dogs for two years. She also faces a fine of $1,000 to be used by the county to prevent cruelty to animals. She would also be fined an additional $1,000 penalty. She may also be required to undergo animal cruelty prevention, education or psychological counseling.