A woman in Ohio was recently sentenced to spend two years in jail for commanding her dogs to attack a group of children in an August 2022 incident that left a 6-year-old girl grievously injured.
Cassie Thierauf, 38, pleaded no contest to one charge of child endangerment on March 8 as part of a plea deal with prosecutors in Warren County, according to The Plain Dealer, citing court records. An additional felony assault charge was dismissed. She was sentenced by Warren County Common Pleas Court Judge Timothy Tepe last week.
The girl’s family lived on one side of the duplex, those documents note, while the defendant lived on another.
The wounded girl’s father spoke during the sentencing hearing.
“She called two dogs to attack four little girls that were out front,” Michael Wilson told the court in comments reported by Newport, Kentucky-based Fox affiliate WXIX – which serves the broader Cincinnati metro area. “My 6-year-old, mauled by two of them, while she stood there on her porch, with her arms crossed, watching.”
While accepting legal culpability for what happened, the defendant insisted that she did not intentionally sic her dogs on the children.
“I would never use my dogs in a malicious or threatening type of way towards anybody,” Thierauf reportedly told the judge on April 19. “This all occurred because I didn’t shut my front door.”
The judge sided with law enforcement’s version of events.
“I don’t know how I can reconcile this with my mind,” Tepe told the defendant. “Because what you have said, I don’t believe.”
Authorities allege that on Aug. 25, 2022, Thierauf was using some kind of recreational drugs in the backyard of a Lebanon, Ohio, duplex with a friend when the 6-year-old girl’s mother started recording the defendant. Prosecutors say an argument ensued and the girl’s mother went inside to call the police. All the while, the children were outside playing, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell told the court.
According to Fornshell, Thierauf told her dogs to “go get them.”
According to police, Thierauf can be heard in a video telling the girl’s mother, “Your kids shouldn’t have f—ed with me and my dogs.”
Original charging documents alleged that Thierauf “knowingly” caused the young girl’s injuries, according to local CBS affiliate WCPO.
Thierauf may also be subject to two years of probation after she is released, Tepe ruled, according to WXIX. The dogs will now be euthanized since they are considered “contraband” under the law.
Prosecutors reportedly tried to recoup dog care expenses for housing the condemned animals for the past several months – but the court ruled against that by finding the defendant indigent.
Thierauf, through tears, continued to insist upon her actual innocence in court: “But me opening the door and telling my dogs – to even open the door, period, let alone sic them on a child that’s like telling your 1-year-old to go play in the street, like, I would never do that. And, God as my witness, He knows that’s not how it happened.”