MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WTAQ) - Milwaukee reptile specialist Terry Cullen will not have his animal abuse and sexual assault charges tried separately.
Circuit Judge Jean DiMotto has rejected the 60-year-old Cullen’s effort to have two separate trials. That’s after prosecutors said the seizures of over 200 squalid reptiles in May provided the entire context for all the charges.
Authorities said Cullen met a woman at a meeting on reptiles in Chicago – and he drove her to Milwaukee and sexually assaulted her. Police were investigating the sex case when they found the reptiles living in squalor at Cullen’s conservatory.
Cullen’s lawyer said the animal and sex cases are unrelated – and jurors could be easily prejudiced. His associate at the conservatory, 50-year-old Jane Flint, is also charged with some of the animal abuse counts. DiMotto said it’s possible that Flint could have her own jury. Both defendants have pleaded not guilty.