- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - A man charged in connection with the sexual assault and hanging of a dog in Thurston County has pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty.

The Olympian reports (https://bit.ly/1SOuKlS ) that James Evans entered the plea Tuesday. His trial has been set for July 25.

Court documents say a 3-year-old pit bull named Diamond was found hanging from a tree on Department of Natural Resources land on March 21.

The dog died from asphyxiation by hanging from a branch.

Officials say evidence suggests the dog was severely sexually assaulted while being restrained.

Evans has hired Olympia-based attorney Richard Woodrow to represent him. Woodrow could not be reached for comment.

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Information from: The Olympian, https://www.theolympian.com

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