Hair Balls is familiar with people stealing cars, money and jewelry, but a civil suit filed Monday alleges the theft of perhaps an even more precious commodity: semen.
Joe Pressil is accusing a Houston fertility clinic, Advanced Fertility, of accepting a semen sample from a woman claiming to be his wife in 2007, and, without his knowledge or consent, performing "in vitro fertilization which resulted in the birth of twins." Pressil, who recently moved to New York, has also sued Omni-Med, the clinic's in-house sperm bank that he says is essentially holding the remaining frozen semen hostage. The whole mess has caused mental anguish and "economic harm due to substantial child support payments," according to the suit.
Confused? So were we. Fortunately, Pressil's attorney, Jason Gibson, filled us in: He says Pressil started a relationship with a woman who later claimed to be his common-law wife, around 2005. (She's identified as Anetria Pressil in a 2010 custody case). Three months after they broke up in 2007, Gibson says, she told him she was pregnant -- with his progeny. Pressil didn't believe her until a paternity test backed up her story. Pressil let Anetria and the twin boys stay at his home, and he agreed to pay child support, Gibson says.
But in February 2011, "Pressil found a receipt from Omni-Med for cryopreservation of a sperm sample," according to the suit. Pressil called Omni-Med, which punted him to Advanced Fertility, which eventually told him the story about his "wife" coming in with the semen. (Heh..."coming in"...).
Gibson says Anetria surreptitiously smuggled the spunk by saving the condoms that had been used. He says Advanced Fertility and Omni-Care had a duty to notify him that they a) had his sperm; and b) used it to knock up some lady. Anetria got pregnant only to squeeze more money -- and the house -- out of Pressil, Gibson says.
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Pressil was charged in February for allegedly assaulting Anetria in 2010 and has agreed to a "pre-trial intervention," whereby prosecutors can dismiss the charge if he doesn't get into trouble for the next year.
According to Anetria's December 2010 affidavit, the alleged incident occurred on the evening of the twins' birthday, when she found a text from a "lady friend" in New York, and "obscene, nude" pictures from her and other women. They argued; she tried to kick him out of the house, but Pressil "punched me in the face, choked me, and proceeded to drag me across the room."
We asked Gibson about the assault allegations; he said Pressil told him the charge had been dismissed. Gibson said Pressil would call us, but we haven't heard from him.
We haven't been able to reach Anetria for comment; we also have a call into Advanced Fertility. We're also freaked the hell out.