Fri, Apr 19, 2013 - Page 7 News List

Estranged wife on trial for cutting off husband’s penis

AFP, LOS ANGELES

A US man whose estranged wife cut off his penis on Wednesday accused her of effectively murdering him, recounting his horror as she severed the organ and threw it into a garbage disposal machine.

The 60-year-old man said he would never have sex again after his wife — who said she “wanted him to stop hurting her with his penis” — drugged him and tied him to a bed, before taking a kitchen knife to his manhood.

Catherine Kieu Becker, 50, is on trial in Los Angeles charged with torture, bodily injury with a knife and aggravated mayhem over the alleged attack at their home in Garden Grove, southeast of Los Angeles.

“She murdered me that night,” said the victim, identified in court only as Glen, recounting the events of July 11, 2011.

The couple had been married for less than a year in 2010 when he told her he wanted a divorce, although they continued living together for financial reasons.

However, she accused him of being “hyper-sexual” and seeing too much of an ex-girlfriend, and planted audio devices round their home to try to catch him out — bugs which ended up recording the horrific alleged attack.

The victim said Kieu made a tofu and chicken dish — which lawyers said was laced with the insomnia drug Zolpidem — on the fateful night, while she ate a salad. Soon afterwards he felt groggy and went to bed early.

His next memory was waking up with his arms and feet tied to the corners of the bed. His wife was at the foot of the bed.

Recalling the moment she mutilated him, he said: Kieu “pulled on my shorts. I didn’t really understand what she was doing ... I looked down and I saw something metallic, silver, shiny.”

“I felt her grab hold of my penis. I was very surprised. All of a sudden I felt a very sharp pain and she had cut my penis off and then threw it on the carpet next to the bed,” he said.

He added that he recalled his wife picking up his penis and leaving the room.

“The next thing I heard was the garbage disposal,” he said.

A short time later Kieu returned and he asked her to call for an ambulance. She held the phone up so he could talk to the 911 dispatcher.

He spent a few days in hospital and underwent surgery, but “not reconstructive surgery,” in an operation “to make it usable as far as going to the bathroom.

“Of course, I will never have a sex life again,” he said. “The healing process may never be completely finished. My mental state is improving, but it may never be what it was before.”

Her lawyer, Frank Bittar, said Kieu had suffered a “lifetime of trauma” beginning with her childhood in civil war-torn Vietnam.

After moving to California she got married for the first time in 1984, but agreed to an “amicable” divorce in 1997.

“She’s not jealous and she’s not wicked and she’s not a black widow,” Bittar said.

She married her second husband in December 2009. He was “hyper-sexual,” using erectile dysfunction drugs and forcing her into “painful” sexual positions, the attorney said.

“You’re going to learn that in Catherine’s mind, she severed his penis because she wanted him to stop hurting her with his penis,” he said in his opening statement.

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