After the Larry Nassar case and rape allegations involving basketball players, the last thing Michigan State University needed was a bestiality scandal—but here we are. Joseph Hattey, a 51-year-old MSU physicist, has been charged with two counts of "committing a crime against nature," the Lansing State Journal reports. Hattey allegedly penetrated a basset hound with his hand and his penis, prosecutors say. The Michigan Attorney General's Office says Hattey was arrested after an investigation involving Ingham County Animal Control and the county sheriff's office. The dog didn't belong to the university and the acts didn't take place on campus, prosecutors say.
Alexander Rusek, Hattey's attorney, said at a hearing Monday that the charges are "merely allegations that have not been proven." Hattey, who has pleaded not guilty, was released on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond. Authorities say the basset hound is safe in the custody of Ingham County Animal Control. Hattey, who has previously been assigned duties in MSU's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, is listed on the university's website as a health physicist with its Environmental Health and Safety Unit. MSU said in a statement that Hattey was immediately put on administrative suspension when the university was notified of the investigation last month, WKAR reports. (Read more Michigan State University stories.)