By Perry Smith & Jim Holt
Signal Managing Editor & Signal Senior Staff Writer
A Newhall man who calls himself “Sexy Vegan” pleaded not guilty in court Friday to sexually assaulting his dog.
Sexy Vegan, a.k.a. Hansel DeBartolo III, age 37, entered the plea after being charged with one misdemeanor count each of sexual assault on an animal and posting obscene matter, according to a news release issued by Venusse Navid, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Vegan is scheduled back in court on Oct. 7 in Department 2 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, at the Santa Clarita Courthouse.
On Sept. 5, Vegan posted a video on his social media account depicting inappropriate behavior with a pit bull, prosecutors said.
If convicted as charged, he faces up to one year in county jail.
Detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are continuing their investigation of the case.
On Thursday, deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station arrested Vegan after a lewd video was posted to social media.
The video, which was shared last week on social media, involved a man with his dog performing a sex act on him, according to Sheriff’s Station officials, who said detectives were still investigating the incident.
“This whole thing transpired because detectives were made aware of a video that appeared to capture the suspect in an act of bestiality,” said Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the SCV Sheriff’s Station.
The man was identified in the Sheriff’s Station booking logs as Sexy Vegan, a Newhall resident who listed his occupation as 2020 presidential candidate.
The suspect has gained notoriety for his social media postings and an appearance on “Dr. Phil,” in which he was kicked off the set “for using excessive profanity while dancing the moonwalk,” according to Vegan’s website.
“Detectives went out and served a search warrant at his residence in Newhall and then took him into custody,” Miller said.
Miller acknowledged detectives began an investigation after being made aware of the video.
Two dogs were also removed from the man’s residence on the 25000 block of De Wolfe Road, according to Miller.
“Vegan” was being held Thursday morning at the SCV Sheriff’s Station in lieu of $35,000 bail.
“The detectives arrested him on a misdemeanor charge of bestiality,” Miller said. “Obviously, it’s still an ongoing investigation.”
Vegan was on probation at the time of his arrest for a previous charge outside of the SCV Sheriff’s Station’s jurisdiction, Miller added, which is why he remained in custody Thursday.
A check of court records kept at the Los Angeles County Superior Court revealed 12 criminal cases, including Thursday’s arrest, naming Sexy Vegan as the defendant.
According to his bio posted on the IMDb celebrity site (Internet Movie Database), Sexy Vegan is credited with having a million followers on Instagram.
The bio also claims he released a recording titled: “Ending World Suffering The Fun Way.”
On Twitter @jamesarthurholt