ROLLING MEADOWS (STMW) — A former groom who fondled a female racehorse at Arlington Park Racetrack avoided prison Wednesday when a Cook County judge placed him on probation and ordered him to undergo counseling.

Esbin Cal-Orozco, 29, had faced up to three years in prison after being convicted last month of having sexual contact with an animal.

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“I believe this defendant is in dire need of counseling,” Judge Thomas Fecarotta said as he sentenced Cal-Orozco to two years probation and ordered him into sex offender counseling.

Cal-Orzoco received credit for the nearly five months he has been jailed since his arrest last September for fondling the filly in her stall at the northwest suburban racetrack.

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He was arrested after another track worker noticed the horse tied oddly in her stall, with several hay bales and buckets lined up behind her, authorities said. Cal-Orzoco admitted to police that he had improperly touched the horse.

The horse wasn’t injured and has continued to race, authorities said.

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