Defendant Already Pleaded Guilty To Animal Cruelty, Report Says

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A lawsuit filed by an Upper East Side teacher accused an acquaintance of “torturing, mutilating and murdering” her cat and laying waste to her family’s apartment, according to a published report.

The lawsuit alleged that Joseph Ari Chiesa, allegedly sneaked into Jessica Barrish’s family’s apartment on East 86th Street and attacked the cat, a 3-year-old Siamese named Cassie, according to a New York Post report. Barrish, 30, had attended Wharton College in Massachusetts with Chiesa, 29, and had invited him to a birthday party at the apartment, the newspaper reported.

The lawsuit said Barrish left with a group of others to carry on the party elsewhere, while Chiesa stayed at the apartment and destroyed several lamps, stole a $3,000 bracelet, and repeatedly bashed the cat against a chair and window screen, the newspaper reported.

When she came home on May 13 of last year, Barrish claimed she found blood everywhere, the paper reported. Cassie hid in the corner of Barrish’s bedroom and died of her injuries, the paper reported.

The lawsuit asked for $2 million for property damages and mental suffering, the paper reported. Chiesa also pleaded guilty in Manhattan Supreme Court to aggravated animal cruelty in October and served four months in jail, the paper reported.

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