By Shereen Siewert

An 18-year-old Wausau man is facing felony charges after police allegedly discovered videos on his phone depicting sexual acts between the man and his German Shepherd.

John L. Schultz booking photo, courtesy of the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department

John L. Schultz now faces felony charges of bestiality – engaging in sexual contact with an animal and of photographing or filming sex acts with an animal. The charges were filed Dec. 21 in Marathon County Circuit Court.

Detectives made the discovery Dec. 18 while searching Schultz’s phone. The videos were allegedly recorded in November and involved the family dog.

Schultz was arrested on Sunday.

Sexually abusing an animal is now a felony in Wisconsin under a bill that Gov. Tony Evers signed into law in March. Dubbed the Protecting Animals of Wisconsin, or PAW Act, the law makes a first offense punishable by up to 12 ½ years in prison. Sentences vary depending on the circumstances, and convicts will now have to register as sex offenders.

Previously, such cases were misdemeanors in Wisconsin.

Following an initial appearance Monday, Schultz was released on a $5,000 signature bond and ordered to have no contact with animals. He is due in court Feb. 23 for a preliminary hearing in the case.