On Nov. 29, a South Dakota man who used scissors to cut off his ex-girlfriend's nipple was given the maximum sentence possible.
Tony Deval Ledbetter, 46, will spend 45 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault for choking and strangling his pregnant ex-girlfriend and using scissors to cut her off one of her nipples, reports USA Today.
Judge Doug Hoffman also ordered Ledbetter make no contact with the victim and her child, both of whom remain anonymous.
“He told me he was a nice guy," the victim said in court. "Nice guys don’t do this.”
"Do you feel like a man?" she asked, addressing Ledbetter directly.
Police arrested Ledbetter after an argument escalated into violence in October 2016. Ledbetter punched his ex her and slammed her head on the ground, stifling her screams with a blanket and by pushing on her throat with his forearm.
While she was unconscious, Ledbetter cut off one of her nipples and was about to cut the other when she awoke. She managed to escape and went to the hospital.
The victim later explained Ledbetter knew she wanted to breastfeed their baby. The unborn baby was unharmed in the attack.
Ledbetter later told police he was acting in self-defense.
The victim says he is lying. According to the woman, Ledbetter was a controlling and obsessive man who refused to move out of her apartment and constantly had to know where she was.
"Because I was strong enough to say, 'Enough is enough,' I almost paid the ultimate price," she said in court. "I was nearly killed for what? Asking for my space?"
Ledbetter admitted to the crime and apologized in court.
“I apologize to the court and to [the victim]," Ledbetter said. "I don’t believe in violence. It’s hard to fathom this happened. It will never happen again. I don’t seek violence."
It was not the first time Ledbetter has exhibited abusive behavior. He was previously arrested for breaking into women's homes, damaging their property, vandalizing their cars and using their credit cards.
A friend of the victim created the GoFundMe page "Woman Mutilated with Scissors," to help the woman.
"She is a working single-mother under incredible circumstances," reads the page. "As a community, let us continue to bless her with financial support for her reconstructive surgery, medical bills, home/utilities, and child care."
As of Dec. 5, the crowdfunding campaign had raised $10,723 of its $25,000 goal.