CROWN POINT | A man with a history of sexually abusing animals has been charged again — this time in Lake County — with sexually abusing a guinea fowl at Buckley Homestead County Park in Lowell.
Michael C. Bessigano, 42, was arrested Friday at his current home in New Chicago on charges of bestiality, killing a domestic animal, and torturing or mutilating a vertebrate animal — all felony charges.
According to the Lake County Sheriff's Department, Bessigano rode a bicycle to Buckley Homestead on Nov. 13, entered a building where guinea fowl were being housed and sexually assaulted one of the birds, killing it in the process.
Police said Bessigano tried to hide the dead bird in a nearby trash barrel. Employees at Buckley Homestead reported the killing, police said.
Not long after the assault, Lake County police served a search warrant at Bessigano's home at that time in Lowell and recovered feathers from the guinea fowl, police said. The date of that search was not available Friday night.
DNA testing showed the feathers at Bessigano's home matched the bird found dead in the Buckley Homestead trash barrel, according to police.
Police said Bessigano was wearing blue jeans covered in blood when they searched his home. An analysis by the Indiana State Police Laboratory found the blood on the jeans belonged to an undetermined species of animal.
Police also found bestiality pornography, a large rubber wolf mask and an altar surrounded by candles.
Bessigano has a long history of bestiality.
In 2009, Bessigano was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to a charge of downloading bestiality pornography.
Before he faced federal bestiality charges, Bessigano spent more than four years in prison on an animal cruelty conviction for having sex with a chicken, then killing the animal in a Valparaiso motel room.
Prior to that arrest, Bessigano developed a reputation for animal abuse. He was convicted of abusing a Rottweiler in 1993. Bessigano also inspired a state law making sex with animals illegal.