The jury was told by the defense that bizarre and bewildering conduct is not criminal if it's between two consenting adults. And even though the woman in this case supported the man who assaulted her, the jury decided to convict Gregory Longoria.
Longoria stood and faced the jury as the guilty verdict was read. He did not visibly react.
During closing arguments, prosecutor Brad Means told the jury the woman had fire directly applied to the most sensitive area of her body and that's when her consent stopped.
"She was controlled and used by the defendant," Means said. "The method he used was torture and violence. You cannot consent to threat of serious bodily injury."
With dramatic flair, defense attorney Stanley Schneider lit a cigarette lighter and told the jury, "A flick of a Bic is not a deadly weapon. If hot flame ignited, we would have bruising and cuts. Those legs would be moving."
Schneider again showed the jury pictures of the woman's legs, showing what he said are no signs of struggle. Because of the nature of her injuries, we are not identifying the woman.
The woman's private body parts were burned, said prosecutors. She was also tied to a bed and beaten by Longoria. The event happened at a northeast Harris County apartment on February 17 while the couple's one-year old child slept in another room.
Defense attorney Casie Gotro questioned the woman's credibility, saying the woman changed her story because she was a scorned lover. Gotro said the woman morphed results of a night of kinky sex into a crime because she was angry Longoria broke up with her.
However, prosecutors said the woman's support of Longoria is consistent with the behavior of a battered woman.
Prosecutor Marie Prim said, "For some unknown reason, she loves him, and he can manipulate her to do anything, and he did."
The jury received the case shortly before lunch and returned a verdict at about 2pm. The punishment phase began following a short recess.Longoria's first wife cried as she testified during the punishment phase that she had also been assaulted by him: "He would hit me."
"He always hit me with his fist."
"He was always nice after hitting me."
The witness also testified: "He broke my ribs and my wrist."
"He stepped on me."
"He tied me up with an extension cord because we were fighting." Still visibly shaken, the ex-girlfriend said the abuse occurred in private. She said: "Gregory loved me in front of everybody. My kids never saw anything like that."
"They still love him." The prosecution plans to call several witnesses who they say will all testify they were abused as well. Longoria faces a maximum of life in prison.