An Indiana man accused of sexually molesting chickens, dogs, and other animals has asked a judge for chemical castration instead of jail time, reports say.
Michael Bessigano, 46, of Hobart, Indiana, is currently in federal jail after being arrested for breaking his parole by accessing pornography via the Internet. But he is asking a judge to consider his time in prison as time served and to be released early, the Chicago Tribune recently reported.
As part of his request, Bessigano also suggested that he be allowed chemical castration to curb his urges.
In a court filing, his attorney said that early release and supervision to monitor his hormone treatments would better serve his rehabilitation. His attorney noted that his long history of killing and abusing animals is a result of his sexual desires, not any desire to kill.
The attorney made the argument that her client’s crimes are little different than “meat-eaters” and “leather-wearers.”
“To the extent that Mr. Bessigano has accidentally injured or killed animals during the course of his sexual exploits, that harm is no greater than that imposed by meat-eaters and leather-wearers nationwide,” attorney Jennifer Soble wrote in her court filing.
Bessigano has a history of animal abuse stretching back to the early 1990s.
The troubled man was arrested in 2009 for receiving obscene material involving bestiality, a federal charge, and was released on supervision in 2010. But this year he was again found receiving obscene materials via the Internet and sent to prison for violating his parole.
Bessigano’s attorney said that his “unique” sexual history is a result of a “remarkably traumatic childhood.” But she noted that her client poses no risk to other humans and that hormone therapy may help end his aberrant behavior.
Soble also noted that Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine associate professor Fred Berlin evaluated Bessigano and said hormone treatment might be effective in his case.
“In my professional opinion, if Mr. Bessigano can be provided with the pharmacological treatment suggested above, as well as with proper probationary support and supervision, I do believe that he can remain in the community without continuing to pose an unacceptable level of risk to animals,” the professor wrote in letter to the court.
Meanwhile, Bessigano’s behavior in jail has been anything but normal. According to the Daily Mail, at night he sleeps underneath his bunk and sometimes tries to paint cat-like stripes on his body. He also apparently refers to himself as the “master of cats.”
Bessigano is currently serving the remainder of a seven-year sentence as a habitual offender as well as a 33-month sentence on pornography charges.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.