Former zoo operator and star of recently-released eight-part Netflix documentary, Tiger King, Joe Exotic, was sentenced to 22 years in prison after a federal jury convicted him of murder-for-hire charges and violating the Lacey Act and Endangered Species Act back in January.

Despite the mountain of incriminating evidence that he hired someone to kill animal rights activist Carole Baskin in 2017, and even his own admissions of guilt in shooting five tigers (supposedly intended as a humane way of euthanizing them) and illegally selling baby lemurs under the guise of a “donation”, Joe insists he is innocent and has now submitted a 257-page case to Donald Trump arguing for his release from prison.

"I have been sexually assaulted by jail staff, beat up and tied in a chair to the point the skin came off my arms." He continues, "please be my hero ... my hands are damaged from the abuse in jail so I'm sorry for the soppy (sic) writing and spelling," ending his message with "#TrumpJr.2024."

In his letter, Joe states he doesn’t believe he’ll live to see his 2037 release date, as he suffers from various health conditions such as anemia and common variable immune deficiency, and prison is only further deteriorating his conditions. 

The 57-year-old former exotic animal park owner insists his past threats to kill Baskin were mere figures of speech taken out of context, not something he ever planned to act upon. One of his character references, Kerri Walker, related his damnatory remarks to Trump’s taped “Grab ‘em by the p***y” comments, chalking them both up to careless speech that probably shouldn’t have been made, but were nonetheless taken too seriously by the public. 

Joe even makes the case that homophobia played a role in his sentencing, and his husband, Dillon Passage, chimed in, writing "I see a sweet, big heart man, with good intentions, who took a few steps down a dark road, and he's just waiting to be pulled out of it." 

Joe begs Trump in his letter, "Allow me to make you proud, to make America proud, to make the world proud. Be my hero please."

Following the release of the docuseries in March 2020, viewers around the world took to social media to express support for the “Tiger King”, with a “Free Joe Exotic” petition garnering over 20,000 signatures, and even celebrities like Cardi B calling for his release from prison. Many fans have even raised suspicions that Carole Baskin herself is guilty of the murder of her husband, but a substantial enough case against her has not yet been made. 

Joe’s case will be presented to a White House Official in D.C. on Wednesday. 

A source from the prison came forward this morning to deny Joe’s claims, telling TMZ “there was no such assault.”