Man accused of torturing wife faces a judge

February 21, 2011 2:14:05 PM PST
It is a case so disturbing that, one by one, public defenders turned down the opportunity to defend a man accused in the brutal attack on his estranged wife. Investigators say Gregory Longoria threatened to kill the woman's family before torturing her for hours last week. The defendant appeared before Judge Brown without an attorney. The judge at that time signed an emergency protective order, meaning Longoria can't make any contact with the complainant, his 33-year-old ex-wife. He cannot call her, he cannot write her, he cannot send messages to her via someone else -- absolutely nothing.

Investigators say the couple split up six months ago, but on Wednesday, Longoria is accused of forcing the woman to go to his apartment with him and that's where authorities say he tortured her for 17 hours. He is accused of tying her to a bed with extension cords, beating her, burning parts of her body and smothering her face with a pillow until she lost consciousness.

Details are so awful that many of them are not being released and it's for that reason is that the judge signed those protective orders, which also extend to the victim's family, including her elderly and disabled parents and her four children.

"It's a protective order that precludes the defendant from having any contact with the complainant in this case, not going by her residence and not attending her work place either," said Donna Hawkins with the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

Longoria is still being held with no bond. He is expected to get a court appointed attorney today. At that point, he will have to go before a judge, which is when the probable cause documents will be read.

Longoria is charged with aggravated assault of a family member causing serious bodily injury. Additional charges are pending against him. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.

He is due back in court on Tuesday. The victim is recovering at an area hospital.