A Californian woman has pleaded not guilty to severing her husband’s penis with a 10-inch kitchen knife and tossing it into a garbage disposal.
Catherine Kieu entered her plea on Wednesday in Orange County Superior Court to charges of aggravated mayhem and torture, according to the Associated Press reports.
The 50-year-old, who is being held on $1million bail, is accused of drugging her 60-year-old husband’s tofu with sleeping pills and tying him to a bed before the attack back in the summer of 2011.
If convicted on all counts she could face life in prison without parole.
As the trial opened, Kieu’s estranged husband told the court: “She murdered me that night. I will never have sex again.” Emergency surgery to reattach the “mutilated” organ was unsuccessful.
It adds Kieu told officers at the scene her husband “deserved it”.
The couple had been married for 18 months at the time of the attack and the unnamed husband had filed for divorce two months earlier, but the pair continued to live together in Garden Grove.
Deputy public defender Frank Bittar says Kieu’s severely traumatic childhood in war-torn Vietnam, including rape by her older brother, caused mental illness that bars her from a mayhem or torture conviction. He also told jurors Kieu’s husband had subjected her to sexual and verbal abuse.
The trial is expected to last two weeks.
In 1993, Lorena Bobbitt cut off her husband’s penis in Virginia and threw it out of her car window into a field on the side of the road. She claimed years of sexual abuse drove her to the attack, and she was acquitted by reason of insanity.
The penis was later reattached and her husband John Wayne Bobbitt went on to forge a short-lived career as a porn star.
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