FREEHOLD – Prosecutors have rejected an Asbury Park man’s bid to keep away from prison prosecution on costs he repeatedly raped, tortured and killed his pet cat, however the defendant’s lawyer says he’ll enchantment the choice to a Superior Courtroom decide.

Bani J. Mezquititla, 19, appeared earlier than Superior Courtroom Decide Chad N. Cagan Wednesday to listen to the choice on his utility to enter the court docket’s pretrial intervention (PTI) program, a diversionary program which affords first-time offenders the chance to keep away from a trial and prison file upon efficiently finishing a interval of supervision.

Keri-Leigh Schaefer, assistant Monmouth County prosecutor, informed the decide the prosecutor’s investigator really useful in opposition to permitting Mezquititla into this system.

“The state agreed and rejected the defendant from the PTI program,” Schaefer stated.

Mezquititla’s lawyer, William Wackowski, informed the decide he plans to file an enchantment of the rejection.

An enchantment, whether it is filed, can be heard by Superior Courtroom Decide Christie L. Bevacqua, Schaefer stated.

Cagan scheduled a court docket look for Mequititla for Feb. 29 to trace the standing of the enchantment and the case.

Mezquititla is charged in an indictment with two counts of animal cruelty associated to the alleged mistreatment of his pet cat, Ellie. One depend alleges he tormented, tortured or abused the animal. The opposite accuses him of utilizing the feline in a sexual method.

Mezquititla was arrested March 2 after he informed his roommate the cat had run away, however modified his story and informed her he threw the pet out of their condominium window, prosecutors stated. The roommate went exterior and retrieved the cat’s corpse and introduced it to the Asbury Park Police Division, spurring an investigation.

Mezquititla confessed to the abuse, telling police it started with him masturbating in entrance of the cat in December 2022, Sevan Biramian, an assistant Monmouth County prosecutor, stated on the defendant’s detention listening to in March. Mezquititla went on to inform investigators that his conduct escalated to repeated incidents of sexual activity with the cat over the course of months, in addition to sexually torturing her with a pencil, Biramian stated.

Mezquititla additionally tortured the animal by repeatedly strangling her with a pulley gadget usual out of a phone-charger twine, door knob and dresser knob, the assistant prosecutor stated on the listening to in March.

Mezquititla is alleged to have sure the cat’s paws behind her again with miniature handcuffs through the torture, Biramian stated. He additionally minimize off her tongue and a part of her jaw whereas she was nonetheless alive and, as soon as she was lifeless, threw her out of his condominium window, the assistant prosecutor stated.

Mezquititla took images and video of a number of the torture, together with video of the cat’s paws handcuffed behind her again and visible proof displaying the defendant smirking as Ellie fought for her life through the torture.

Mezquititla has been held with out bail on the Monmouth County Jail since his arrest.

Kathleen Hopkins, a reporter in New Jersey since 1985, covers crime, court docket circumstances, authorized points and nearly each main homicide trial to hit Monmouth and Ocean counties. Contact her at

Bani J. Mezquititla, who is accused of raping, torturing and killing his pet cat, is shown during his arraignment before Judge Chad Cagan at the Monmouth County Courthouse in Freehold Wednesday, May 31, 2023.

Bani J. Mezquititla, who’s accused of raping, torturing and killing his pet cat, is proven throughout his arraignment earlier than Decide Chad Cagan on the Monmouth County Courthouse in Freehold Wednesday, Might 31, 2023.

This text initially appeared on Asbury Park Press: Prosecutors reject Asbury Park man’s bid to avoid trial in cat rape

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