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A man with a history of sexually abusing animals has reportedly asked a US court to consider imposing “chemical castration” and to release him from police custody.
Michael Bessigano has reportedly been held at the Lake County Jail since he was arrested in January for allegedly breaking his probation by looking at obscene images on the internet.
The 46-year-old, from Hobart in Indiana, has a long history of abusing animals that dates back to the 1990s.
According to court records seen by the Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune, Mr Bessingano has asked the court consider the time he’s spent incarcerated and release him if he undergoes chemical hormone treatments.
He hopes the drug Depo-Lupron would reduce his testosterone levels and stop any reoffending.
His lawyer Jennifer Soble said in the court filing issued this week that his historic harm to animals was caused solely by sexual desire rather than intent to hurt the animal.
The document reportedly states: “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.”
It goes on: “Mr Bessigano’s history is unique; his entire history within both the federal and state systems is entirely animated by his unusual sexual preferences.”
“Those preferences are almost certainly the result of Mr Bessigano’s remarkably traumatic childhood; unable to receive or seek affection from his parents, he sought that affection from animals.”
According to the Tribune, Mr Bessigano pleaded guilty to a federal charge that he knowingly received “obscene matters from an interactive computer service” in 2009.
He was released under supervision, but allegedly violated his parole last year.
An expert has since visited Mr Bessigano and suggested the treatment could work and that he can “remain in the community without continuing to pose an unacceptable level of risk to animals”.
The case comes after several US jurisdictions introduced an animal offenders’ registry, which would publicly reveal the names of known abusers.
Currently, the state of Tennessee is the only place to implement such a register state-wide, though such as Suffolk County in New York and Hillsborough Country in Florida have also set up registers.
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