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Hoskins found guilty on 52 counts in animal cruelty trial

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

The woman accused of mistreating horses on her East Aurora farm has been found guilty on 52 counts. Beth Lynne Hoskins was charged following the March 2010 raid at her horse farm.  Aurora Town Justice Douglas Marky issued his ruling in the misdemeanor animal cruelty case late Monday afternoon.  Hoskins was found not guilty on 22 other animal cruelty counts.

Credit WBFO News file photo
One of Hoskins's horses in the care of the SPCA

In the 2010 raid, 74 horses were removed by the SPCA as well as more than 50 cats and some dogs.  Forty horses were returned to Hoskins as well as all the dogs. 

The judge read the names of the 74 horses in court, saying whether Hoskins was guilty or innocent of abusing each horse.

Hoskins could face two years in jail at sentencing September 26. She says the cruelty didn't happen.

"It was a completely different perspective of what happened on my farm, in my care. It's not the reality of what happened on our farm," Hoskins told reporters following the verdict.

"I firmly believe in my innocence."

The SPCA brought the charges against Hoskins. Fired prosecutor Matthew Albert, who had tried the case, says it's a good verdict.      

"There were some counts that I knew were a little thin, but obviously the bulk of them were horses that were supremely neglected. So the verdict is appropriate," Albert says.

Albert says the legal system had catered to Hoskins since the case began 39 months ago as she went through a series of lawyers and hired the investigators who found Albert had a personal relationship with an employee of the Erie County SPCA. The judge refused to dismiss the case over that relationship.

Hoskins says she has spent $750,000 on legal fees and a further $350,000 on a bond for care of the horses. The SPCA says it has spent $1 million on care of the horses since they were seized on the farm. There is a separate civil suit against Hoskins looking to get that money back.

Hoskins says she will appeal and will be vindicated and get her horses back.

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