Sex pest seeks castration to end his offending
A US man with a history of sexually abusing animals should be chemically castrated as a condition of his release - and poses no more of a threat to critters than carnivores or leather-wearers, his lawyer has argued.
Michael Bessigano, who has been held in Lake County jail in Illinois since January for violating his parole, asked the court this week to release him on the condition he undergo hormone treatments that would reduce his testosterone levels, the Chicago Tribune reported.
"Mr Bessigano poses no risk of harm whatsoever to the human members of his community," his lawyer, Jennifer Soble, wrote in court filings reviewed by the paper.
Letting Bessigano off on time served - along with the treatments - would be better rehabilitation than more time in jail, Ms Soble argued.
She said her client didn't want to hurt animals, but was motivated by a sexual desire stemming from his childhood, when he sought the affection his parents didn't show him from pets.
"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," she wrote.
The pervert's history of animal abuse dates back to 1993, when he was convicted of breaking into a barn and killing a dog, the Times of Northwest Indiana reported. During his trial, he said he would rather live with animals than humans.
In 2009, he pleaded guilty to knowingly receiving "obscene matter from an interactive computer device" after downloading animal porn.
He was released under supervision in 2010, and violated the terms of his release in 2017 when he accessed obscene materials on the internet.
He was also arrested in 2013 for sexually abusing a guinea fowl.
Soble argued that chemical hormone treatments, using the drug Depo-Lupron, would be more effective than time in prisons unequipped to deal with her client's disgusting behaviour.
Fred Berlin, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, evaluated Bessigano in July and said hormone treatments could work.
"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," Dr Berlin wrote in a letter filed with court documents.
This story originally appeared in The New York Post and has been republished here with permission.