HAMMOND — A 44-year-old Hobart man with a history of sexually abusing animals will have to wait until next week to find out whether a federal judge will allow his release from prison on the condition he undergoes chemical castration.
A 3 p.m. Wednesday hearing has been postponed until 10 a.m. Oct. 13 before Judge Phillip K. Simon.
Michael Bessigano is in federal custody on allegations he violated the terms of his supervised release from prison on a 2009 obscenity conviction.
His most recent arrest in January continued a pattern of incarceration and institutionalization for animal abuse that began in 1993, when he was convicted in Lake Criminal Court of stealing and killing a neighbor's rottweiler.
An attorney for Bessigano has requested he be sentenced to time served and allow him to be released from prison on the condition he undergo monthly drug injections to help control his sexual desire for animals.
The attorney argued in a sentencing memorandum her client's conduct is "motivated by sexual desire, not by sadism or any desire to hurt animals."
The federal government requested in a court filing this week the judge sentence Bessigano to two more years of incarceration.
Attorneys pointed to a psychological report that stated the defendant's sexual interest in animals was in part motivated by sadism, including a “heightened sense of erotic excitement in response to an animal's suffering, and even response to death.”