Philosophy of AR > Animal Abuse and Violent Crimes
Men charged with animal cruelty now accused of rape


First they faced charges for torturing a kitten, and now two Elbridge men are accused of rape.

Kyle Custer, 16, and Dustin Gauger, 20, pleaded not guilty in court Friday.

The men are accused of having sex with two 14-year-old girls. The girls went to police after they heard about the animal cruelty charges last week.

Gauger waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Custer has not decided if he will let the case go to a preliminary hearing or let it go right to a grand jury.

"We elected not to proceed on those in order not to bring our minor witnesses into the courtroom and through the media. Based on waivers of the preliminary hearing of the first set of charges they reserved the rights of the second charges meaning they knew they weren't going to go forward with the hearing today," said Cayuga County District Attorney Laura Fiorenza.

Because the men were arraigned on the cruelty charges, they will continue to be held on bail.

Their next court date has not been set.

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