Man gets 30 years for sexual torture

November 17, 2011 8:37:15 PM PST
A jury deliberating how to punish a man who tortured his estranged girlfriend for hours decided he should spend 30 years in prison. It took jurors just about three hours to convict Gregory Longoria of aggravated assault, but they took a little more time to determine his punishment.

Prosecutors say Longoria tortured his estranged girlfriend for hours, but she testified in his defense.

On Thursday, Longoria was once more composed. The same jury that convicted him on Wednesday was asked to decide his punishment.

The defense claims that his girlfriend, who testified for Longoria, was a willing participant in kinky sex acts that included a can of hairspray he ignited. The woman sustained serious burns to her private parts. It was emergency room workers who notified police -- not the girlfriend.

The jury found Longoria guilty. Then three women who'd been previously involved with him testified that they had also endured violent behavior at his hands.

On Thursday defense attorney Stanley Schneider addressed the panel, asking Longoria's sentence be set at five years.

"I don't understand how you found him guilty. I still don't understand how you found him guilty," Schneider said. "A 40-year-old man stands before you and you have to decide. Given what she has said, who she loves and what she said happened to her."

The state, though, took the other extreme, asking that Longoria get life in prison arguing that anything less would allow him to reoffend.

Prosecutor Marie Primm said, "No human being should be able to do that to anyone again. You stand up to him and say, 'You'll never lay your hands on a woman again.'"

Without the former girlfriends testifying against him, Longoria might have avoided a lengthy sentence. What they told the jury, KTRK legal analyst Joel Androphy says, will change the outcome.

"The jury here is going be more inclined to give him a lot more time than he would've gotten with the one isolated incident," Androphy explained.

After deliberating for most of the afternoon, the jury sentenced Longoria to 30 years in prison.

If you need help or want to report domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence hotline at 800-799-SAFE(7233).

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