The Michigan State University health physicist who was alleged to have had sex with a dog has been charged with bestiality.
Officials said 51-year-old Joseph Hattey is accused of penetrating a Basset hound with both his penis and his hands.
The Michigan Attorney General’s Office has just approved an arrest warrant for Hattey on Monday on two counts of sodomy for committing a crime against nature or bestiality. The physicist faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
The alleged sex acts were uncovered by officials during a joint investigation by Ingham County Animal Control and the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office. Hattey’s arrest warrant indicated that the probe was carried out between January 7 and March 8.
Officials were also quick to clarify that the incidents were not conducted on MSU’s campus or with an animal owned by the university. Hattey is a physicist within MSU’s Environmental Health and Safety office.
Hattey is scheduled to be arraigned next Monday.
The dog he allegedly abused has been removed from further harm and placed in the custody of Animal Control.
While the case is on-going, Hattey has been placed on administrative suspension, pending the outcome of his case.
The university through its spokesperson Emily Guerrant said in a statement that it is committed to cooperating with law enforcement on the matter. They also said that MSU is providing digital forensic support in the probe. Hattey has been with the university since 2014.
Guerrant said that Hattey “does not work with students, patients or animals,” but also stated that he did work in the school’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. The said laboratory studies “animal and public health issues” aiming to “protect the public by ensuring the health of animals in the state of Michigan and around the nation.”
Hattey’s arrest on Monday is just the latest sex scandal to rock MSU as the university is still reeling from the Larry Nassar and William Strampel cases. Dr. Nassar was sentenced to 175 years behind bars in February for sexually abusing his patients. A former dean, Strampel was arrested in March and charged with felony criminal sexual conduct and willful neglect of duty by a public official.