Aurora Township man receives year in prison for beating dog
By Matt Hanley email@example.com May 31, 2012 3:16PM
Phillip Rinn of Aurora township, walks into the Kane County Courthouse for his sentancing on Thursday, May 31, 2012 after pleading guilty to animal cruelty for the second time. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 6, 2012 9:20AM
ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP — Nearly 19 years after he spent 60 days in jail for killing a pet that aggravated him, an Aurora Township man will go to prison for beating another dog.
Phillip Rinn, 43, of the 300 block of South Kendall Street, pleaded guilty in April to felony aggravated animal cruelty. He faced as many as three years in prison, but could have been sentenced to probation. On Thursday, Judge Tim Sheldon sentenced Rinn to a year in prison. He will have to serve about half that sentence.
Rinn beat a 60-pound Lab-shepherd mix with a broom handle in November 2010. Rinn’s neighbors called 911, after they saw him swinging a stick at the 1-year-old dog named Magda, which was howling in pain. The 6-foot, 350-pound Rinn then brought the dog outside and continued to beat the animal.
When a deputy arrived, Rinn was naked outside his house with the dog. Rinn answered the door and the deputy saw a broken broom handle and the dog cowering. Rinn said the dog had gotten into a neighbor’s yard twice. The first time, Rinn yelled at the dog and the second time chased it, he told police. Rinn initially said he fell and broke a chair, which hit the dog. Rinn then admitted to hitting the dog.
“I can’t think of a better way to say it: This kind of behavior cannot exist in this county,” Kane County Assistant State’s Attorney Reagan McGuire said Thursday. “This defendant has chosen to attack a completely defenseless living thing.”
The dog ended up with five broken teeth, swelling under its jaw and an injury to its right eye. The animal has since recovered and is living with an adopted family.
In 1993, Rinn admitted to chaining his dog, “Royal,” by the neck and driving off in his car, dragging the dog down Peck Road in an attempt to kill it. When the dog didn’t die, police said Rinn ran over the dog. Rinn was mad at the dog because it had chewed his car’s vinyl roof and tried to bite his wife.
Rinn was sentenced to 30 days in jail, two years’ probation, a $500 fine and 100 hours of community service in that incident.
Rinn’s attorney said the newest charges have had a profound impact on Rinn. Since being charged, Rinn has lost two jobs. Attorney Ned Khan said Rinn, who served in Desert Storm, may be suffering from untreated post traumatic stress disorder. Rinn’s 17-year-old daughter testified that she has never seen him abuse an animal or a person.
“He’s not a bad person that everyone’s trying to make him out to be,” she said. “He just made a mistake. He’s a good dad.”
Rinn said he wished he could go back and do things differently.
“I am very remorseful for the actions that put me in the position that I’m in today,” he said. “I want to get help. I want to move on. I take responsibility for what I’ve done. I’m sorry.”
Rinn was eligible for probation, but Sheldon said Rinn’s actions have shown that it is not an effective deterrent. Several animal activists attended Rinn’s hearing and were glad to see him handcuffed.
“I pray he gets the help he needs, but only God can forgive him for being a disgrace to the U.S. Marine Corps and the human race,” said Jeannette Schulz, director of On Angels Wings, an animal rescue group.