MEDIA RELEASE: Asbury Park Man Who Tortured & Killed His Cat Sentenced to Prison

MEDIA RELEASE: Asbury Park Man Who Tortured & Killed His Cat Sentenced to Prison

FREEHOLD, N.J. (June 14, 2024)In Defense of Animals applauds the sentencing of Bani Mezquititla who was charged with animal cruelty for sadistically abusing his cat Ellie for months, ultimately killing her. 

Mezquititla was sentenced on June 13, 2024 to five years in state prison. He will also have to pay restitution for the cost of the cat’s necropsy and has been permanently banned from ever again owning, living with, or having custody over any animal.

An investigation was launched  on March 2, 2023, when a concerned citizen brought Ellie’s body to the Asbury Park Police Department. Police, along with the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' Humane Law Enforcement Division concluded Ellie had belonged to Mezquititla, who was arrested the same day and taken to  the Monmouth County Correctional Institution. 

It’s alleged he had tortured Ellie over a period of weeks, which resulted in her death. 

In April, he pleaded guilty to tormenting, torturing, or unnecessarily or cruelly abusing a living animal resulting in death, and animal cruelty by using or causing or procuring the use of an animal or creature in any kind of sexual manner. Both charges are third-degree felonies carrying a maximum sentence of five years of incarceration.

In Defense of Animals gathered 15,964 signatures on a letter to Fairfield Judicial District State Attorney Joseph T. Corradino seeking maximum prosecution of Mezquititla.

“Mezquititla is a dangerous individual who through all legal means must be kept from harming others. Our justice system must look beyond the restrictions of sentencing and protect the inevitable victims of a person who thrills in inflicting suffering and has contempt for officials,” said In Defense of Animals Senior Campaigner Doll Stanley. “We appreciate the steps taken in this case by all involved to bring about what Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond Santiago called one of the most substantial penalties for a crime like this in the state.” 

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CONTACT: Doll Stanley,, (662) 809-4483


RE: Sadistic Cat Rapist & Killer Must Serve Full Consecutive Sentences

Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond Santiago, 

I am writing to whole-heartedly support your prosecution of Bani Mezquititla for the sadistic and prolonged torture, rape, and killing of his cat, Ellie. I know you are fully aware of the details of Mezquititla’s crimes. Thank you for presenting his vile acts in a manner that resulted in Superior Court Judge Henry Butehorn denying Mezquititla bond.

I hope your office will seek the maximum penalties in this case, and ensure that Mezquititla is mandated counseling and will not be allowed around animals ever again. His crimes are indicative of someone who lacks awareness and remorse, and poses a danger to all members of society.

I also hope you will share my concerns with Superior Court Judge Henry Butehorn when Mezquititla’s is sentenced. Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.

Signed, 15,964 concerned citizens


In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 40-year history of defending animals, people, and the environment through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, California, and rural Mississippi.


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