A Florida woman who reportedly paid to have monkey torture videos created and posted on the online platform Telegram is now facing federal animal crush charges and federal prison, if convicted.

Investigators who looked into a tip from a person in Norfolk, Virginia, uncovered about 60 users in a Telegram group dedicated to the abuse, torture, and killing of monkeys of various ages.

The investigation determined that the woman reportedly was an administrator of the group, had commented on the torture videos, and also had paid two individuals $60 to create and post a torture video to the group, according to news.

After obtaining a search warrant, authorities charged Nicole Devilbiss, 35, with a count of conspiracy to create and distribute animal crush videos  — which are defined in federal criminal law as occurring when animals are “purposefully crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury.”

Devilbiss reportedly told investigators that she had originally aimed “to help stop torture of monkeys, but later transitioned to a dark place where she found relief from viewing monkey torture videos,” according to court documents.

She allegedly added that she had shared “dozens” of torture videos with other group members, according to news.

The U.S. State’s Attorney’s Office has said that the complaint is a formal charge of violations of federal law and that defendants are innocent until proven guilty.

If convicted, Devilbiss faces up to five years in federal prison. 

Lady Freethinker has been tirelessly investigating postings to social media platforms of monkey torture for years, which has helped lead to several arrests as well as the BBC documentary “The Monkey Haters.”  We remain aggrieved by the sadistic nature of these crimes against primates and are grateful that law enforcement is taking this suffering seriously.