One charge of bestiality dropped in MSU health physicist case
The second count of bestiality has been dropped in the continuation of MSU health physicist Joseph Hattey’s preliminary hearing on Thursday. Hattey now faces one count of bestiality after the judge in the 55th District Court in Mason determined that there was not sufficient evidence to back up the other charge.
Hattey is alleged to have penetrated his dog with both his hand and penis after a joint investigation performed by Ingham County Animal Control and the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation stemmed from reported suspicious activity on Craigslist.
Maxx Rapp, a witness in Hattey’s case, posted an ad on Craigslist seeking out “a restless dog or horse that needs occupied for a while.” Rapp testified at Hattey’s preliminary hearing back in June that Hattey responded to the ad and the two engaged in email correspondence. Rapp said that during a visit to Hattey’s house, he witnessed Hattey stroke his dog’s genitalia and reach behind it.
At the June hearing Patrick O'Keefe, Hattey’s attorney, raised doubts about the witness’ testimony, saying that not enough hard evidence has been presented by the prosecution. Photos in particular, found on Hattey’s personal computer and phone during an investigation, were called into question.
Two photos were presented as evidence by the prosecution depicting a man engaging in sodomy with a dog. The prosecution said Hattey and his basset hound “Flash” match the description.
“There’s been absolutely no evidence that even if there is an act of sexual intercourse between a man and a dog in that particular case, there’s no evidence that the man in that photo is my client, there’s no evidence that the dog in that photo is Flash," O’Keefe said to Judge Boyd. “What we have here your honor is just a failing on the part of the Attorney General’s office to establish probable cause as to each and every element of these offenses.”
In the continuation of the preliminary hearing, Boyd evaluated the two photos that investigators couldn’t identify as Hattey with certainty. A tattoo taking up substantial portion of Hattey’s calf could not be discerned in the photos either.
Boyd ruled that the photos could not provide the necessary support for the second charge of bestiality.
Hattey will be arraigned on one count of sodomy on July 18.