MSU health physicist charged with bestiality has preliminary examination extended
Editor's note: The following story contains graphic descriptions. Reader discretion is advised.
Holt resident Joseph Hattey, a health physicist from MSU, faced two charges of bestiality in Mason's 55th District Court on Thursday.
Earlier this month, Ingham County Animal Control and the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office conducted a joint investigation that accused Hattey of penetrating his basset hound, "Flash," with both his hand and penis.
Hattey, 51, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the crime.
Questions were first raised about Hattey when a suspicious ad on Craigslist was reported to the Ingham County Animal Control. The ad's author was granted immunity by Judge Boyd for his testimony and spoke in court.
The ad's author, a witness in the case, allegedly placed the Craigslist ad.
"Anyone have a restless dog or horse that needs occupied for a while? I love playing with them," the ad read. "Preferably not fixed but either is fine, male animals preferred."
The witness said he enjoyed the replies and discussions from the post. He said they fed into his fantasy of bestiality.
After exchanging emails with Hattey, the witness said they were invited to Hattey’s home. The witness told Patrick O'Keefe, Hattey’s attorney, that they went to Hattey’s residence with the intent to commit bestiality.
During the visit to Hattey’s house, the witness said they watched Hattey stroke the basset hound’s genitals and reach around behind the dog.
In the courtroom, prosecutor Richard Cunningham approached the witness with a stuffed basset hound and asked him to demonstrate what he saw Hattey do to the dog. The witness obliged.
The witness testified that no penetration took place while they were there. He then read an email he claimed was from Hattey.
"Figured out why Flash was shy with you, he’s used to me being undressed lol," the email read. "I’ve been training him to take it from behind and he likes it."
"Flash" is no longer in Hattey's possession.
Photos submitted for evidence that depict a man penetrating a dog were called into question by O’Keefe. The prosecution claims that the photos, found in the search of Hattey's personal computer and phone, show a man and dog that match the description of Hattey and his dog "Flash." However, Hattey has a substantial calf tattoo that was not seen in the photos.
The continuation of the preliminary hearing for Hattey is scheduled for July 5.