M. Night Shyamalan’s 2017 thriller Split centered around a man with Dissociative Identity Disorder, played by James McAvoy. Among his personalities is one named Dennis, a germaphobe with pedophilic tendencies. It appears that Shyamalan may have either taken inspiration from the life of Joseph Messier, or vice versa, because Messier’s case is eerily similar.
The 55-year-old registered sex offender from Brewer, Maine, claims that the child pornography he possessed was not downloaded by him, but by one of his multiple personalities, referred to as “IT.”
“There is a suggestion that Mr. Messier has multiple personalities and that’s an area that we’re exploring at this time,” [said Messier’s attorney, Don Brown](https://www.foxbangor.com/news/item/46602-sex-offender-claims-split-personality-is-pedophilemolested his daughter, but that he had to go to prison for the crime,” the documents read, referring to the case that put him on the Maine Sex Offender Registry for life in 2001. “Messier said that if he ever saw child pornography downloaded by ‘IT,’ he would delete it.”
The document also features an apparent confession of the crime by “IT” itself. According to the the interview, Messier began speaking in a Southern accent and identified himself as the aforementioned personality.
“The voice Messier was using for ‘IT’ said that ‘Joe’ had nothing to do with downloading child pornography,” the document read.
Messier is scheduled to stand trial on May 29 and has already pleaded not guilty. If he is found guilty, instead of “IT,” he will be facing up to 20 years in prison with a $250,000 fine.
What do you think? Should Messier’s condition be taken into consideration before he is charged with a crime he would have never done, or should his criminal charges also include stealing from M. Night Shyamalan? Let us know in the comments below!