Michigan State University has been rocked by yet another sex scandal, and this time it involves bestiality. Joseph Alan Hattey, A health physicist for Michigan State University (MSU), was charged and arraigned Monday on an accusation of bestiality, or “crimes against nature.” According to MSU‘s website, Hattey works within the university’s Environmental Health and Safety office. He has, in the past, held duties within MSU’s Veterinarian Diagnostic Laboratory.
Caution: The content ahead might be disturbing to read.
According to the Michigan Attorney General’s office, 51-year-old Joseph Hattey allegedly had sexual intercourse with Flash, a basset hound. The Detroit News recently reported that a witness called and informed the Ingham County Sheriff’s Department and Animal Control of the alleged actions.
Upon investigation, the sheriff’s office informed Bill Schuette, the attorney general, who filed the official charges against the defendant. Hattey was charged with two counts of sodomy for the alleged sexual assault of a dog. The felony carries a potential sentence of 15 years in prison.
It is still unclear whether or not Flash is Hattey’s pet. The investigation was conducted by the Ingham County Sherriff’s Department, with combined efforts made by the Ingham County Animal Control. For the animal’s safety during the investigation, the dog has been removed from the defendant’s home and is currently being held in the county’s Animal Control facilities.
Hattey’s attorney made it clear that the defendant was pleading “not guilty” and they were confident that there would not be enough evidence to lend to a guilty verdict. After his arraignment this afternoon, the defendant was released on bond. He will return to court on June 14 for pre-examination and again on June 21 for the preliminary hearing.
Michigan State University spokeswoman Emily Guerrant made a statement informing the public that Joseph Hattey, pending the results of the case, has been placed on administrative suspension.
As mentioned by the Detroit News, Hattey’s bestiality charges are another hit against MSU, as it comes on the heels of a sex abuse scandal that involved a sports doctor who worked at MSU, Larry Nassar. Earlier this year Nassar was convicted to 175 years behind bars for using his medical doctorate as a guise to sexually assault young Olympic gymnasts. With his conviction, MSU’s credibility took a punch to the face.
In response to Hattey’s alleged actions, Emily Guerrant stated, ” It’s just another black eye for MSU.”
“The university has been and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement officials on this matter. MSUPD is providing digital forensic support in the investigation.”
The 2017 Table of State Animal Sexual Assault Laws indicates that a majority of states have laws that prohibit bestiality, with punishments in varying degrees. In the state of Michigan, where Joseph Hattey resides, the law specifies that when an individual commits “the abominable and detestable crime against nature either with mankind or with any animal,” they shall be charged with a felony that is “punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, not more than 15 years.” If the person committing the crime is sexually delinquent the term is variable, ranging on a scale from 1 day to life.