The Lassen County District Attorney, Melyssa Rios, has provided an update on the case of two former Susanville residents accused of sexual animal abuse charges.
In August of last year, Aaron Lee Tidwell and Mary Ann Elizabeth Hood were charged with 10 counts of felony animal abuse and 10 counts of misdemeanor sexual contact with an animal. Arrest warrants were issued on August 18. The suspects were located by law enforcement in Jefferson County, Idaho on November 14 but refused to waive extradition. As a result, the DA’s office had to obtain a Governor’s warrant, which caused a delay in their return to Lassen County. Governor Gavin Newsom authorized the extradition on January 20, and correctional staff transported Hood and Tidwell back to Lassen County.
They were arraigned on March 1, with bail set at $30,000 for Tidwell and Hood released on her own recognizance. A preliminary hearing for both defendants is scheduled for March 15.
The DA’s office reminds that, as with all criminal defendants, the charges are only allegations at this time, and they are presumed not guilty until pled or proven otherwise.