Indiana judge won’t order DNA sample from man accused of bestiality
By Ruth Ann Krause Sun-Times Media March 27, 2013 4:36PM
Michael Bessigano of New Chicago, Ind., charged with bestiality. March 9, 2013. Sun-Times Media
CROWN POINT, Ind. -- Lake Superior Court Judge Diane Ross Boswell denied a request by the state for a DNA sample of a Lowell, Ind., man charged with theft, bestiality, killing a domestic animal and torturing or mutilating a vertebrate animal.
Boswell told deputy prosecutor Mark Watson that he must obtain a search warrant to get a new DNA sample, called a buccal swab, from Michael Charles Bessigano, 42.
Defense attorney Casey McCloskey said if the defendant objects to providing the DNA sample, a search warrant is required based on case law.
In the four Lake Superior Court felony division courtrooms, DNA sample requests are routinely granted without a search warrant being issued.
Watson said prosecutors already have a DNA sample from one of Bessigano’s prior cases dating back four or five years. Watson told the judge that if the case goes to trial, jurors might wonder what Bessigano did in the previous case, and he was unsure of the condition of the DNA sample and its packaging from the prior case.
The judge gave Watson the opportunity to file a brief citing case law on the issue.
Boswell agreed to order evaluations by two mental health professionals to determine if Bessigano is competent to stand trial. He was charged earlier this month after authorities in November discovered a Guinea hen that had been sexually assaulted and killed at Buckley Homestead County Park. Several animals have been missing from the park since July.