A woman who survived being set on fire by her former boyfriend has spoken to the media about her experience.
Judy Malinowski talked about the August 2015 incident after Michael Slager was sentenced to 11 years in prison for the attack, WCMH reported.
Slager pleaded no contest in court Dec. 12 before the judge imposed the longest sentence possible. Malinowski had hoped to testify at trial but Slager’s plea prevented this.
“I never knew that a human being could be so evil,” Malinowski told WCMH. “He just stood there and did nothing.”
The 33-year-old mother of two has undergone 52 surgeries since the attack, which took place at an Ohio gas station. She still has serious pain and has spent 16 months in hospital.
“He got off easy,” she said.
Malinowski told the interviewer that she would rather serve 11 years behind bars than live with the consequences of the assault.
“There were days I told myself I can’t live like this. No one should have to live like this. Because I was in so much pain,” she said.
Bonnie Bowes, Malinowski’s mother, said her daughter had wanted to look Slager in the eye at trial and say she was no longer afraid of him.
“She wants everyone to know, she’s keeps telling me 'Mom, tell them verbal abuse is the start of physical abuse,'” added Bowes.
Malinowski had third- and fourth-degree burns on 90 percent of her body. Scars remain visible from the attack and she has wounds that will not heal. Slager also had minor burns.
Slager initially claimed the fire was started as a result of an accident while trying to light a cigarette. But a witness at the gas station stated the couple had been arguing before the assault. Another man who was at the gas station used a fire extinguisher in an attempt to put out the flames, his girlfriend told Capital Berg.
Slager did not speak in court, reports WHIO. The judge found him guilty of assault, aggravated arson and possession of criminal tools.
Attorney Robert Krapenc declined to comment, pointing out that Slager may face additional charges in the case.