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Former MSU health physicist accused of sex with dog gets probation, collapses in court

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Posted at 5:30 PM, Sep 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-18 17:30:33-04

LANSING, Mich. — A former Michigan State University health physicist accused of sexually abusing a dog in his basement pleaded guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor in Ingham County’s 30th Circuit Court.

He was sentenced to 24 months of probation and must pay at least $575 in fines and fees.

Joseph Hattey, 52, pled guilty to one misdemeanor count of failing to provide an animal with adequate care in Judge Rosemarie Aquilina’s courtroom.

Minutes after the sentencing, Hattey was carried out of the courtroom in a stretcher because of an apparent medical emergency.

Patrick O’Keefe, Hattey’s attorney, said his client appeared to faint and may have been dehydrated when he collapsed in the courtroom.

“This has been a really stressful experience for him,” O’Keefe said.

Hattey was prosecuted by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office and could serve 93 days in jail if he violates his probation.

As part of Hattey’s sentence, he must pay $250 in court costs, a $250 fine, a $75 crime victim’s fee and restitution to Ingham County Animal Control.

When Hattey was charged in June 2018, he was employed at Michigan State University as a health physicist.

MSU officials said in an email Wednesday that Hattey resigned from his position on Aug. 14, 2018.

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