The Shelton man appeared in court on Wednesday and applied for the accelerated rehabilitation because he’s never been arrested for any crime before.
Ralph Crozier, Wegiel’s attorney, told the New Haven Register that his client denies abusing the horse.
Police said Wegiel inappropriately touched the horse. He claimed he was just trying to comfort the horses after they had been scared by a loud noise.
The horses’ owner, Christine Flannery, attended the court proceedings and told the Register that she objects to Wegiel being in the program, which would eventually wipe his record clean.
“it would be a slap on the wrist,” Flannery told the Register. “He deserves more punishment.”
Wegiel is charged with cruelty to animals, fourth-degree sexual assault, third-degree criminal trespass and second-degree breach of peach for the Oct. 18 incident at his neighbor’s farm.
Wegiel is due back in court on March 11. That’s when the judge will decide if he should be allowed into the program.