Michigan State University on Monday added yet another sex-crime to its recent list of scandals. This time it’s bestiality.
MSU physicist Joseph Hattey, 51, was charged Monday by the Michigan Attorney General's Office with two counts of bestiality after he allegedly sodomized a basset hound with his hand and penis, according to a release.
The stunning charges come as MSU has been under repeated fire for harboring the likes of Dr. Larry Nassar and ex-dean William Strampel—the former of whom was sentenced to 175 years in prison earlier this year for the serial sexual-abuse of his young, female athlete patients; the latter is accused of enabling Nassar while allegedly groping, soliciting nude photos, and asking for sexual favors from students.
A former MSU president described Strampel as “boorish” but never suspected him as a “sexual predator.” The Detroit Free Press reports that the school allegedly knew about some of his behavior as early as 2003; and the paper similarly reported that university officials were aware of Nassar’s child molestation as early as 1997.
The Michigan AG‘s office stated that Hattey does not appear to have committed the acts “on campus or with an animal owned by the university.” The dog has been removed from harm and is with Ingham County Animal Control, who collaborated with the sheriff’s department in investigating the alleged crime.
Animal Control director John Dinon told The Daily Beast that bestiality in that part of Michigan is “not a very common thing” but said this was not the first case he’s seen. The department declined to comment further on the ongoing investigation.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Hattey has been a “Health Physicist” at the university for more than two years and was a radiation-safety technologist at the school for four-plus years before that.
The accused also worked at the school’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, which aims to “protect the public by ensuring the health of animals in the state of Michigan and around the nation” by investigating and studying “animal and public health issues.”
In a statement made later Monday, MSU said that Hattey did not work with “students, patients or animals” in his most recent position, and was put on “administrative suspension” when they were informed he was under investigation in April. They also said the university's police department was “providing digital forensic support in the investigation.”
Hattey will face a 15-year charge for his “crime against nature,” with his arraignment expected later Monday.
MSU and the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment.