Arrest ordered for man convicted in Greene County under stricter animal cruelty law

The first to be successfully prosecuted in Greene County under stricter guidelines for cruelty to animals has violated his bond conditions and is not in custody.

Matthew Bolen, 24, is set to be sentenced this week after he pleaded guilty in January to causing serious physical harm to a companion animal, a fifth-degree felony, according to Greene County court records.

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Judge Stephen Wolaver has ordered Bolen to be arrested after violating conditions of his release from jail, according to court records.

Bolen is the first to be tried in Greene County under Goddard’s Law, which went into effect in 2016 and increased the severity of the crime of hurting a companion animal from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Bolen was arrested in August 2017 after he was observed by a neighbor in Xenia throwing and banging his then girlfriend’s puppy, Willow, on the ground.

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Leah Lind, the city of Xenia’s victims advocate for the prosecutor, adopted and provided care for Willow. The puppy suffered a broken knee and displaced hip, among other injuries.

Lind has been active in working with the county prosecutor's office to get a conviction in the case. Through her Facebook page Saving Willow, which is followed by 682 people, Lind has kept the public up-to-date on Willow's recovery.

Bolen posted bond in October 2017 and was released from jail pending court proceedings on a $5,000 bond. Conditions of his release included being evaluated for chemical dependency and not having any contact with animals, according to court records.

Along with ordering Bolen’s arrest, Judge Wolaver has increased his bond amount to $15,000.

Bolen is scheduled to appear for sentencing on Thursday. He faces a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison on the fifth-degree felony conviction.

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