BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — A man who had been previously sentenced to the state’s Sex Offender Intensive Supervision Probation has been sentenced to 12 years for animal abuse.

According to the Office of the District Attorney for the 20th Judicial District, Nathaniel Stark was sentenced to multiple years in the Department of Corrections for animal abuse.

Stark had originally been sentenced to 10 years of Sex Offender Intensive Supervision Probation on Jan. 5, 2018, after he was designated a sexually violent predator, according to the DA.

After being released from a halfway house in August of 2019, the DA said that Stark’s girlfriend’s animals began showing signs of injuries. Within three months of Stark living with his girlfriend, two of her cats had died.

According to veterinarians, the injuries to one of the cats were not inflicted by another animal. Instead, the injuries were consistent with head trauma and strangulation.

That was not the first case of animal abuse by Stark, according to the DA. In February 2020, he severely beat his girlfriend’s dog. According to the vets, the dog had significant bruising between its hind legs and deep bruising on its back above the hind legs. The vet said the trauma was commonly seen in abuse.

The dog was immediately removed from the couple’s custody.

“The defendant’s abuse of his partner’s animals in this case was just one act of violence in his criminal history. It is important to take these cases seriously as they involve victims who have no voice and are often used as coercive controlling tactics in a domestic violence relationship. We are pleased with the sentence that the court imposed and want to thank our law enforcement partners for the exceptional investigation in this case,” said Deputy District Attorney Jenny McClintock.

On May 13, 2022, Stark pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated cruelty to animals. He also pleaded guilty to failing to verify his location as a sex offender.

“This case involved terrible conduct against animals. Given his prior conduct and the cruel acts involving his partner’s pets, the defendant clearly presented a risk to others. That’s why we have a prosecutor who specializes in cases involving animal cruelty. I appreciate all the hard work by Jenny McClintock and law enforcement in this aggravated cruelty to animals case. With this lengthy prison sentence, this defendant is being held responsible for his conduct,” said District Attorney Michael Dougherty.

Stark was sentenced to 12 years in a state prison.