A man from Sioux Falls, South Dakota has been sentenced to 45 years in prison for cutting off his pregnant ex-girlfriend's nipples with a pair of scissors last year.
Tony Ledbetter, 45, pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault. According to the Argus Leader, Judge Doug Hoffman went against Ledbetter's plea agreement, in which Ledbetter pleaded guilty in exchange for a maximum sentence of 30 years, and gave him the maximum sentence of 45 years.
Ledbetter apologized in court on Tuesday for mutilating the victim, according to The Associated Press.
The victim explained in court how the attack affected her physically and emotionally.
“He told me he was a nice guy," she said. "Nice guys don’t do this.”
According to the Argus Leader, Ledbetter did not look up at her during her statement.
She even addressed Ledbetter directly, asking him, “Do you feel like a man?”
The violent attack occurred after the couple argued about their relationship, police said. Ledbetter punched her and slammed her head on the ground. Police said he also attempted to prevent her from screaming by pushing on her throat with his forearm and by stuffing a blanket in her mouth. He mutilated her nipples while she was unconscious. At the time, the victim was pregnant. She said in court that Ledbetter knew she wanted to breastfeed the child.
"Because I was strong enough to say, 'Enough is enough,' I almost paid the ultimate price. I was nearly killed for what? Asking for my space?" she said.