Witness claims undercover activist "coerced" Fair Oaks abuse

A statement from the Newton County prosecutor could take the investigation into abuse at Fair Oaks Farms in a new direction.

Posted: Jun 18, 2019 8:13 PM
Updated: Jun 19, 2019 5:46 AM

NEWTON COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) -- A statement from the Newton County prosecutor could take the investigation into abuse at Fair Oaks Farms in a new direction.

We've been following the release of two videos showing apparent animal abuse at the farm for two weeks now. The videos were taken and released by Animal Recovery Mission, an activist group that went undercover at the farm.

The prosecutor says one of the suspects told investigators that the ARM employee  encouraged the abuse later seen in the videos. Now, they say a "third party" witness has corroborated the suspect's claim.

Detectives are still investigating all the parties' statements.

In response, Animal Recovery Mission called the prosecutor's statement "unfounded" and said the claim quote "couldn’t be further from the truth. The Newton County Sheriff’s and Prosecutors Office has yet to reach out to Animal Recovery Mission’s main witness in this case for any additional statement."

Fair Oaks Farms also released a statement: "Law enforcement’s investigation will follow its own course. We continue to focus and make every effort to ensure the safety and welfare of our animals so this never happens again."

The original prosecutor statement is below:

"A third party witness has come forward to corroborate the allegations made by a suspect that the ARM employee encouraged or coerced the behavior depicted in the portions of video that have been released publicly. Detectives continue to investigate these claims through additional interviews and written discovery."

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