Asbury Park Man Indicted for Sexual Torture and Killing of Pet Cat.
Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced yesterday that a Grand Jury has returned an indictment against an Asbury Park man who stands accused of torturing and killing his pet cat earlier this year. Bani J. Mezquititla, an 18-year-old from Asbury Park, is currently facing Animal Cruelty charges by Tormenting, Torturing, or Unnecessarily or Cruelly Abusing a Living Animal and by Using or Causing or Procuring the Use of an Animal or Creature in Any Kind of Sexual Manner. Both charges are third-degree crimes.
On Thursday, March 2, the Asbury Park Police Department headquarters received a concerned citizen’s dead cat’s body, prompting an investigation into Mezquititla’s activities. The Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Humane Law Enforcement Division and the Asbury Park Police Department discovered that the cat had belonged to Mezquititla. Mezquititla had allegedly had sexual intercourse with the animal, seriously injuring it, before later restraining and torturing the cat, leading to its eventual death.
Mezquititla was taken into custody on the same day the investigation was initiated and sent to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI), where he is currently still being held. The State requested his detention, which was granted. Anyone with any information about the case is urged to contact either Asbury Park Police Detective Anthony Houlis, SPCA Chief of Humane Law Enforcement Michael Goldfarb, or SPCA Lt. Michael Magliozzo.
If convicted of criminal charges such as these, the penalty can be imprisonment for up to five years. Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Keri-Leigh Schaefer and Sevan Biramian have been assigned to the case. However, as with every criminal charge, the defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt following a trial where he or she is provided with all the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.
In other news, the MidJersey.News reports that New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal has proposed some new rules to align juvenile parole responsibilities with the juvenile justice commission. This move hopes to enhance the state’s ability to support and monitor young individuals reentering society after incarceration. Photographs accompanying the article depict a wooden gavel on a courtroom table.
Many animal welfare activists worldwide have expressed their concerns over such acts of cruelty against innocent animals. It is an offense that damages the perpetrator’s reputation and brings the community to question the offender’s mental state. It is hoped that through this indictment, justice will be served, bringing to light the severity of these inhumane criminal acts.