- New Jersey, USA -
⚠️WARNING. The article contains details some of you may find distressing⚠️
On March 3, 2023, through a press release, the Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced that 18-years-old BANI J. MEZQUITITLA, of Asbury Park, was charged with “Animal Cruelty by Tormenting, Torturing, or Unnecessarily or Cruelly Abusing a Living Animal, Resulting in its Death, and Animal Cruelty by Using or Causing or Procuring the Use of an Animal or Creature in Any Kind of Sexual Manner, both third-degree crimes.”
According to the press release, an investigation into MEZQUITITLA’s activities was launched on March 2, 2023, after a concerned citizen brought a lifeless cat to Asbury Park Police Department headquarters.
Police along with the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Humane Law Enforcement Division determined that MEZQUITITLA was the cat’s guardian.
As stated in the release, MEZQUITITLA “is alleged to have first performed sexual acts on the animal, seriously injuring it. He is also alleged to have later restrained and tortured the cat, resulting in its death.”
MEZQUITITLA was located and placed under arrest on March 2, 2023, and transported to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI).
According to app, on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, during MEZQUITITLA’s hearing, his defense attorney, Alton Kenney, argued that MEZQUITITLA “should be released from jail because he never harmed a human being.”
At the hearing, Assistant Prosecutor Sevan Biramian recounted the devastating and sickening events of what MEZQUITITLA is alleged to have done to his defenseless cat named Ellie.
As reported by app, Assistant Prosecutor Biramian alleged that MEZQUITITLA “had sexual intercourse with his pet cat over a period of months and also sexually abused her with a pencil; that he tortured her by repeatedly strangling her with a pulley device consisting of the phone charger cord, a door knob and a dresser knob; that he handcuffed the feline's limbs behind her back with miniature handcuffs during the torture; that he cut off her tongue and part of her jaw while she was still alive; and that once she was dead, he threw her out of his apartment window.”
Assistant Prosecutor Biramian said MEZQUITITLA filmed and took pictures of the torture inflicted on Ellie. MEZQUITITLA took selfies in which Ellie can be seen “fighting for her life as she was being strangled.” Assistant Prosecutor Biramian also said that in those selfies, MEZQUITITLA “can be seen smirking” and added: “He raped it multiple times.”
Assistant Prosecutor Biramian went on to say: “He fashioned torture devices to strangle the cat over and over, and then he dissected her while she was alive. He doesn't appear to have a conscience. He did this because Ellie was defenseless.”
For the two counts of animal cruelty that MEZQUITITLA is charged with, “there is no presumption of incarceration while awaiting trial,” reports app, and despite that, Superior Court Judge Henry P. Butehorn ordered MEZQUITITLA held without bail to await trial.
In issuing the order, Judge Butehorn cited the strength of the evidence against MEZQUITITLA. Evidence gathered against MEZQUITITLA includes video, pictures, MEZQUITITLA’ s confession, and a veterinarian's report following a necropsy performed on Ellie. Results showed Ellie’s injuries “were consistent with the defendant having sex with her, sexually abusing her with a pencil, strangling her and dissecting her tongue and jaw while she was still alive,” reports app. Judge Butehorn said: “All of this evidence does indicate a depravity of the mind that goes far beyond animal cruelty.” Assistant Prosecutor Biramian said MEZQUITITLA confessed his abuse to investigators.
According to app, Judge Butehorn further said: “There is strong evidence to indicate that the defendant engaged in an extended course of unprovoked torture and sexual assaults on an innocent, defenseless cat.”
Citing one of the videos in which MEZQUITITLA can be seen handcuffing Ellie’s tiny paws behind her back, Judge Butehorn said: “The defendant explained the handcuffing as pretending to be a police officer and arresting the cat after it ran away.”
MEZQUITITLA's defense attorney argued that the state's bail reform law requires detention of defendants who pose a danger to the community and said: “The community is made out of people. There's nothing they can cite to say my client ever, ever harmed a human being. They're trying to equate this cat to a person.”
To this feeble and pathetic attempt to defend the murder of an innocent and defenseless cat, Assistant Prosecutor Biramian responded: “Animal cruelty, especially this sadistic, is the kind of anti-social behavior that poses the most serious risk and danger to humans. Courts have recognized the link between people who abuse animals and people who abuse humans.”
Assistant Prosecutor Biramian then mentioned one of the videos in which MEZQUITITLA can be seen “dangling” Ellie “from the pulley device while the animal struggled for air and then lowering her and allowing her to catch a breath before again lifting her in the air again. The cat can be [seen] clawing at the air during the torture before she was handcuffed.”
MEZQUITITLA's defense attorney said that rather than jail, his client needs “psychological and psychiatric treatment.” His argument went on to point out that MEZQUITITLA “has no prior record and, because of that, would be eligible for a pretrial intervention program that would afford him the chance to avoid a criminal record, so he would have no motive to flee the jurisdiction”.
According to Assistant Prosecutor Biramian, on March 2, MEZQUITITLA admitted to his roommate that he killed Ellie and threw her out of the apartment window. The roommate went outside and found Ellie’s lifeless body. The roommate is the person who then brought Ellie to the Asbury Park Police Department. Reportedly, before admitting to murdering Ellie, MEZQUITITLA told his roommate that Ellie had run away.
Assistant Prosecutor Biramian said that MEZQUITITLA’s roommate had been feeding and caring for Ellie for months but her kindness was repaid with terror. MEZQUITITLA, in fact, showed his roommate the torture videos and pictures because he “meant to terrorize the roommate.”
As Assistant Prosecutor Biramian was recounting the graphic details of what Ellie endured, he said that MEZQUITITLA admitted he first masturbated in front of her. “Then, he admitted to sticking a pencil inside the cat, then he admitted to using his penis to have intercourse with the cat,” said Assistant Prosecutor Biramian.
Assistant Prosecutor Biramian explained that “He said this started months before Ellie's death, sometime around Christmas,” and further said: “When detectives asked the defendant if he had ever done anything like this before, he laughed and said, ‘No, I’m not a psycho’.”
After hearing these shocking facts, Judge Butehorn rejected Alton Kenney’s request to release his client and ordered MEZQUITITLA held without bail.
Judge Butehorn said there also is evidence that MEZQUITITLA searched the internet to find out what the penalties are for killing a cat.
According to app, MEZQUITITLA’s defense attorney said: “There are people charged with far more serious offenses that are out on the street.”
As I was writing this article, and as happens with most of my articles, I stopped several times to wait until I had no more tears. I cannot fathom how a person can be capable of such sadistic acts. Where does this evil nature come from?
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Patch - March 17, 2023
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