Michigan State University has had its hands full with, and its coffers drained by, a sexual assault scandal involving the university physician who sexually abused young women under the guise of administering medical treatment.
Now comes another allegation, on behalf of a victim who is not a gymnast, but a bassett hound.
Joseph Hattey, a health physicist within MSU’s Environmental Health and Safety office, has been charged with two counts of bestiality.
Hattey, according to a press release by the Michigan attorney general’s office, penetrated the animal with his hand and his penis. It is not believed the crimes happened on the Michigan State University campus, and the dog was not one owned by the university.
Hattey, 51, had previously been assigned duties within the university’s Veterinarian Diagnostic Laboratory.
The bassett hound is in custody of Ingham County Animal Control.
An MSU spokesperson issued this statement:
“Michigan State University was informed by the MSU Police Department on April 17 of a criminal investigation against Joseph Hattey, a health physicist with the Environmental Health and Safety Unit (note this position does not work with students, patients or animals). Hattey was immediately put on administrative suspension, pending the investigation. 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.”
Hattey entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment on the charges Monday. A preliminary hearing is set for June 21.
“These are merely allegations that have not been proven,” Hattey’s attorney, Alexander Rusek, told the Lansing State Journal. “Mr. Hattey pleaded not guilty in court today and looks forward to addressing the fact of the matter during the preliminary examination.”
Michigan State University has been rocked by a sex scandal involving a university physician who also served as doctor for the U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team.
The university, under the terms of a settlement, has agreed to pay $500 million to victims of Lawrence G. Nassar, who was sentenced to 40-125 years in prison.
That settlement is believed to be the largest ever reached in a sexual abuse case involving an American university.