TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) -- “Tiger King” star Joseph Maldonado-Passage, who was found guilty in a murder-for-hire plot to kill the owner of Tampa’s Big Cat Rescue, is reportedly seeking a pardon from President Donald Trump.
Maldonado-Passage’s legal team submitted a 257-page document requesting a pardon on Wednesday, according to TMZ.
Maldonado-Passage, better known by his stage name, Joe Exotic, was sentenced earlier this year to 22 years in prison for his role in a murder-for-hire plot to try to kill Carole Baskin, the owner of Big Cat Rescue in Tampa.
In the letter, Maldonado-Passage argues he did not get a fair trial because he was “just some gay, gun-toting redneck in Oklahoma” before his recent “Tiger King” fame.
Furthermore, Exotic claims to have been “sexually assaulted by jail staff, beat up and tied in a chair to the point the skin came off my arms.”
“Please be my hero,” he pleads in the letter. “My hands are damaged from the abuse in jail so I’m sorry for the soppy [sic] writing and spelling. ... I have seen what they do to you,” he wrote. “Allow me to make you proud, to make America proud, to make the world proud. Be my hero please.”
Trump was asked in April whether he would consider a pardon for Maldonado-Passage, but it’s unclear if he is considering granting him clemency.
TMZ reported Wednesday: "We reached out to our federal prison sources about Joe's claims, who tell us, 'There was no such assault.'"