The Olympian reported yesterday that an Olympia, Washington man who was arrested for animal cruelty in February was arrested again on Friday – this time, for child rape and molestation. David Williford, 27, pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree rape of a child and six counts of first-degree child molestation.
Williford, whose bail was set at $100,000, was previously arrested in Feb. when officers discovered dozens of animals, both dead and alive, in his blood-splattered home. He had been released on $50,000 bail after that arrest as he awaited his trial.
The girls who accused Williford reportedly stated that he had sexually assaulted them when they were approximately 5 or 8 years of age. Williford’s attorney was unavailable for comment on either case.
Williford was charged in Feb. with 12 counts of animal cruelty in a case that the Thurston County Prosecutor had called “the worst case of animal abuse she’s ever seen.” Animal control officers accused Williford of collecting animals from Craigslist and then starving, torturing, and consuming them.
When Williford’s home was raided, it contained dozens of animals, including dogs, rabbits, rats, and guinea pigs. Deputy Prosecutor Christen Anton Peters stated that the home was “like a scene from a horror movie, complete with blood spatters, filth, and carcasses.”
Williford’s home on Cooper Point Road in Olympia contained more than 20 dead animals, some of which were hanging from the walls. Amazingly, some of the animals survived: During the investigation, authorities stated that they rescued dozens of additional animals, but they were “desperate for food and water.”
In Jan., officials had seized two rabbits, two dogs, and three rats from Williford’s home, but his arrest in Feb. only came after a veterinarian’s discovery that one of the deceased guinea pigs had been killed by blunt force trauma. The veterinarian stated that this animal had “experienced undue suffering” when it died.
Williford found many of these animals on Craigslist. According to investigators, Williford told the animals’ former owners that he “wanted to rescue” their pets. The investigators stated that Williford told them that he actually intended to consume the animals. In Feb., Williford’s attorney called the home “simply an unsanitary slaughterhouse,” but animal control officers could not find evidence of anyone consuming the animals.
Deputy Prosecutor Peters stated in Feb.: “I’ve seen many cases of animal cruelty in my career as a prosecutor. This is clearly the most disturbing case that I have ever reviewed.”
Williford’s alleged violence against both nonhuman animals and children is unsurprising. Numerous studies have shown a connection between animal abuse and violent crimes committed against people. According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), those who commit violent crimes against animals are more likely to commit violent crimes against humans than those who don’t hurt animals.
The Animal Law Center also found that “people who commit acts of cruelty towards animals rarely stop there. Murderers and people who abuse their spouse or children had frequently harmed animals in the past.”