Two men face federal charges for their alleged roles in spreading monkey torture videos online: Nicholas T. Dryden (Ohio) and Giancarlo Morelli (New Jersey) were both charged with conspiracy related to the creation and manufacturing of violent “animal crush” videos involving baby, teenage, and adult monkeys, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Dryden and Morelli were allegedly part of an online group that discussed their twisted and depraved ideas for monkey torture. The U.S. Department of Justice alleges Dryden used funds collected from the online group to instruct and pay a child in Indonesia to create the vile videos.

Helpless monkeys were allegedly abused on camera “having their genitals burned, having their genitals cut with scissors, being sodomized with a wooden skewer and being sodomized with a spoon,” according to a disturbing summary by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Both men have been charged with conspiracy to create and distribute sadistic videos in March and April 2023, while Dryden has an extra charge of producing child sexual abuse material as he allegedly exploited a minor by paying the child to sexually abuse the monkeys on camera. Both men face could face up to 5 years in prison for the conspiracy charges and seven years in prison for the animal crush creation and distribution charges; Dryden could face an additional 20 years in prison for each charge related to the sexual abuse of children.

Monkeys are intelligent and playful animals that do not deserve to be mutilated or killed — for any reason.

Lady Freethinker and Action for Primates first exposed the underground world of monkey torture groups in 2021 — and helped bring international attention to the cruelty by providing intelligence and information to the BBC documentary “The Monkey Haters.” Since then, our work has helped law enforcement prosecute those responsible. These charges are the latest in a string of recent arrests and convictions of people involved in abusing monkeys online.

Lady Freethinker applauds the work of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and FBI in investigating the case and pursuing justice for all the monkeys who have been tortured and killed. We will continue to work to uncover, track, and end monkey torture groups for good.