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W.Va woman charged in dog abuse now faces prostitution charge

November 19, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A woman charged last week with abusing a pit bull that was found chained in the attic of a home with open wounds and ribs showing has been charged with solicitation of prostitution, the Martinsburg Police Department said Wednesday.

Breshannon Leslie Deveraux, 33, of 252 E. Burke St. in Martinsburg, allegedly solicited sexual favors in exchange for money from a confidential informant Tuesday afternoon in the 300 block of South Rosemont Avenue, police said.

Deveraux was taken into custody Tuesday shortly after Martinsburg Police Department Detective Cpl. S.F. Doyle said she solicited the informant about 4:15 p.m., according to the officer's complaint.

She had $60 of "recorded currency" used by the informant in her purse, police said.

Berkeley County Magistrate Harry L. Snow set a $5,000 bond for the defendant in an arraignment hearing Tuesday.

Last Thursday, Deveraux was released from custody on a $10,000 bond after being arraigned on one felony count of cruelty to animals.

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She and a man who shared the same Burke Street address with her were charged with animal cruelty after authorities responded to a complaint about a dog being abused.

Found chained in the attic of the home in poor health, the pit bull was beaten and deprived of food over a number of weeks, police said witnesses reported.

The dog was extremely skinny and had an open wound all the way around its snout and under its lower jaw, Martinsburg Police Department Patrolman W.A. Parks said in a complaint filed in the case.

One witness said Deveraux beat the dog and refused to feed the canine because she didn't want it to defecate in the home, according to Parks' investigation.

Another witness told police that a chain was wrapped around the dog's mouth so tight while it was being walked by Deveraux that the animal could not open its mouth, police said.

A person convicted of a felony count of animal cruelty could be sentenced to up to five years in jail and be fined up to $5,000, according to Parks' complaint.

An individual convicted of solicitation of prostitution could be sentenced to up to six months in jail and fined up to $100, according to Doyle's complaint.

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