Master of Cats Back in Prison
By Kevin Robinson in News on May 15, 2009 6:00PM
Northwest Indiana's native son, Michael Bessigano, is back in prison after a federal judge ruled that he be sent to a Boston-area federal mental health institution for male repeat sex offenders. Bessigano, who has been incarcerated twice before, will spend nearly three years in prison for downloading images of people having sex with animals, and three years of supervised release.
Bessigano has twice been convicted before, for killing a dog and a chicken in separate incidents. In 2001, he was convicted of sexually assaulting a chicken in a Valparaiso hotel room, after he stole the chicken from a farm south of Valparaiso, took it to a hotel room he had rented for the night, plucked its feathers, and copulated with the animal before it died. Prior to that he was convicted of killing a dog. He served time for in jail for both incidents. According to officials, when he was in jail he would paint cat-like stripes on his body and make drawings referring to himself as "master of cats." Bessigano's mother says that he's schizophrenic and that the family has had trouble finding adequate treatment for him.
Authorities arrested Bessigano after Indiana state parole officers asked that his computer be searched. Investigators found hundreds of images of sadomasochistic human-animal pornography. Bessigano admitted to the judge that he had downloaded those images. During sentencing, Simon said he hopes Bessigano can end the "merry-go-round of incarceration" related to bestiality crimes. "I've been trying," he told the judge. "Nobody wants to help me."