An Indiana man who has been busted on multiple occasions for sexually abusing animals is asking the court to let him walk free on the condition he undergo chemical castration.
In January, 46-year-old Michael Bessigano was taken into police custody after allegedly receiving obscene material online in violation of his probation, reports the Chicago Tribune.
But in a late August court filing, Bessigano requested he be released early so that he can take Depo-Lupron, a chemical hormone treatment to reduce his testosterone.
"Mr. Bessigano's history is unique; his entire history within both the federal and state systems is entirely animated by his unusual sexual preferences," wrote his attorney, Jennifer Soble, in the request. "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."
Soble said the defendant is motivated purely by his inability to control his sexual urges, to which she said that hormone treatment would provide a "concrete solution." Prisons have no resources to help him, she explained.
"For obvious reasons, it will hurt Mr. Bessigano: every day of incarceration is another day in which he is not receiving the hormone therapy that will end his sexual urges," Soble wrote, reports The Times of Northwest Indiana.
Bessigano has been abusing animals since as early as 1991, when he was arrested after he was found in a chicken coop with dead birds, according to the Daily Mail. He was taken into custody again that year when he reportedly broke a rooster's neck and was later caught trying to molest geese in a pen.
"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," Soble wrote, later adding that her client "poses no risk of harm whatsoever to the human members of his community."
In July, Dr. Fred Berlin, an associate professor of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine conducted an evaluation of Bessigano and wrote a letter to the court in support of the treatment plan.
"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," Berlin wrote.