Orange County woman who cut off estranged husband's penis sentenced to life

Severed Penis

Nick Ut/AP

Susan Kang Schroeder, public information officer for the Orange County District Attorney, center, speaks to media after a court hearing for Catherine Kieu, pictured at right, Wednesday, July 13, 2011 in Westminster.

Mercer 19417

AP Photo/Garden Grove Police Dept.

This undated handout photo provided by the Garden Grove Police Dept., shows a police booking photo of Catherine Kieu Becker, 48, who police say drugged her estranged husband, tied him to a bed, cut off his penis with a knife and threw it down a garbage disposal in her home in Garden Grove.

Orange County woman Catherine Kieu, 50, was sentenced Friday to life in prison for cutting off her estranged husband's penis and tying him to his bed after an argument. Kieu was found guilty April 29 by a jury of torture and aggravated mayhem.

Kieu and her 60-year-old male partner, who was identified in court only as Glen, lived together at the time of the attack, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office. She will be eligible for parole in seven years, according to a local wire service.

They got into an argument on July 11, 2011, about a friend possibly staying with them, according to the DA's office. This was followed by Kieu lacing Glen's food with Ambien. When he fell asleep, she tied his limbs to the corners of their bed, and when he woke up she pulled down his pants and cut off his penis.

Afterward, authorities say that Kieu put Glen's penis into the garbage disposal. She called 911 and reported that he was bleeding, according to the DA's office; Glen then spoke to authorities and told them that his penis had been cut off by Kieu.

Garden Grove police arrived at the scene. Glen was transported to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center and was released after emergency surgery.

Kieu's defense argued during the trial that she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder due to mental impairment and long-term sexual abuse, and that she did not have the required mental capacity to be convicted, according to a local wire service.

Deputy District Attorney John Christl, however, insisted that Kieu simply refused to accept her husband's demand for a divorce and made specific plans to carry out the attack as revenge.

Glen gave a statement at the sentencing hearing. "The convicted viciously deprived me of part of my life and identity. Then, as is routine in cases of violence that involve something sexual, the victim must endure, at the hands of the defense, a second attack. This was a cruel and calculated violation of a person's body and mind. I now struggle with what is before me. She has torn off my identity as a man. She has caused doubt in my belief in good. She has betrayed my trust in people."

Glen previous testified in court that he received surgery following the attack, but "not reconstructive surgery," according to a local wire service. He received an operation that was "to make it usable as far as going to the bathroom."

With contributions by KPCC wire services

Mike Roe
Mike Roe, Digital News Producer/Blogger

Mike Roe is the lead writer for KPCC's pop culture blog, Without A Net. When he's not busy being a journalist, he writes and performs comedy around L.A.

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