Animal-cruelty charges were dropped yesterday against a former Moorestown police officer accused of bestiality.
Robert Melia Jr., 39, still faces charges of sexually assaulting three girls between 2000 and 2008. Prosecutors say he molested the children with former girlfriend Heather Lewis, 33, of Pemberton Township.
State Superior Court Judge James J. Morley approved Melia's motion yesterday to strike the animal-cruelty charges from the indictment.
Authorities claimed to have videos of Melia engaging in sex acts with cows. They filed the charges weeks after arresting Melia on April 12, 2008, in the sexual-assault case. That day, police also searched his home and seized a computer that they said contained pornographic material.
Prosecutors alleged Melia's behavior amounted to animal cruelty, a fourth-degree offense defined as anything from tormenting to beating or even poisoning a creature.
The judge said the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office had not presented enough information to the grand jury to prove that Melia's alleged actions tormented the calves. The jurors heard a description of the alleged crimes from a detective.