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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

LEGAL PUSSYFOOTING: District Court Judge Sentencing Bruce Langlois References His “Deep Love For Animals”; Hands Down A 30-Day Slap On The Wrist

NO @JusticeForSkittles: LANGLOIS COULD SERVE JUST 10 DAYS! It pays to be a rich white guy here in Michigan, especially when you're an unlicensed veterinarian (and two-time convicted sex offender) who just unloaded your 8,000 square foot home for a cool $1.25 million.

Of course, it pays to be a rich white guy...anywhere.

Bruce P. Langlois was sentenced on Monday, June 3, in the Huron County, Michigan courtroom of Judge Gerald M. Prill.

As I previously reported, Langlois (who faced up to 4 years in prison) was sentenced to 30 days in jail for practicing on animals without a valid veterinary license, including some cases in Huron County.

Langlois was initially charged in September 2017 with three counts of unauthorized practice of veterinary medicine by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.

A criminal trial was scheduled for March 5, 2019, but Langlois instead admitted his guilt to one count of unauthorized practice during a plea hearing. In return, the remaining counts were dismissed, per a plea agreement with the Michigan Attorney General's Office. 

A possible sentencing enhancement, based on his status as a habitual offender, was also dropped. 

(Langlois' Michigan vet license Disciplinary Action history is shown below.)

However, local news reports here in Michigan, including one that appeared in the Huron Daily Tribune, paint a galling portrait of Prill's almost deferential treatment of Langlois, including his remark about Langlois' purported “deep love for animals and a passion to do things for the community”.

Langlois was cited in a Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Bureau of Professional Licensing disciplinary action report in March 2018 for negligence, incompetence, lack of good moral character, and practicing without a license.

Langlois addressed the court, describing his love of veterinary medicine that stemmed from his early childhood years. 

He said prior to retiring from his veterinary practice, he never turned people away and always treated animals, even if people couldn’t afford to pay him. 

He said it was his passion for helping animals that guided him through his career, and he was not motivated by money, as his practice’s accounts receivable totaled more than $1 million upon his retirement—losses that, if they truly existed, would have simply been written off for a significant tax break.

Per the Huron Daily Tribune's coverage, Prill said the issue is Langlois has a deep love for animals and a passion to do things for the community, but he can’t do procedures on animals without a license. 

He said Hayes’ information (Michigan Asst. Attorney General Robert Hayes, who prosecuted the case) about Langlois still treating animals goes in line with Langlois’ stated commitment to helping others. 

“You would help anyone in any situation,” Prill told Langlois. 

Prill felt the temptation is too strong to allow Langlois to have contact with any animals other than his own. 

And as for his own animals, Prill ruled that Langlois is to not engage in any veterinary medical activity with them. He made it clear Langlois can water, feed and walk the animals — but any veterinary service they require has to be done by a licensed veterinarian.

Robert Hayes, who was representing the AG’s Office, told the court on Monday that he’s still concerned by Langlois’ conduct. 

“I do believe he’s still treating animals,” said Hayes, noting he has it on good authority that Langlois conducted a heart worm treatment on an animal within the past month.

Langlois was ordered to complete 50 hours of community service, pay various court fees and fines, and spend 30 days in jail, with the last 20 days being set aside if he successfully completes 18 months of probation. 

Prill gave Langlois the option of serving the initial jail time on the weekends, but Langlois elected to begin his sentence that day, Monday, June 3.

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