Woman charged in penis assault held on $1 million bail

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 22, 2011 4:58 PM

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Southern California woman accused of slicing off her husband's penis with a kitchen knife and grinding it up in a garbage disposer was ordered held on $1 million bail on Friday.

Catherine Kieu, 48, is charged with one count each of torture and aggravated mayhem in connection with the July 11 alleged assault on her sleeping husband at their home in the Los Angeles suburb of Garden Grove.

An arraignment and bond hearing for Kieu, who was assigned a public defender, were postponed again on Friday until September 23, but the judge set bail in the meantime at $1 million, said Farrah Emami, an Orange County District Attorney's Office spokeswoman.

Kieu has not yet entered a plea in the case. Kieu faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

Orange County prosecutors said the incident followed an argument between Kieu and her 60-year-old husband, who has not been identified by authorities, over friends staying at their residence. Police said the couple were involved in divorce proceedings.

According to a written statement last week, prosecutors said Kieu tied her sleeping husband to a bed with nylon ropes, pulled down his pants and severed his penis, which she then took into the kitchen and dropped into the garbage disposer, mutilating the organ when she turned on the device.

Prosecutors said she then called 911.

Garden Grove police said the woman told arriving officers who found her spouse tied to the bed and bleeding from the groin that he "deserved it."

Police have said Kieu may also have drugged or poisoned her husband's food to make him groggy. Emami said investigators were still awaiting toxicology tests to make that determination.

The victim, who was taken to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center following the attack, has since been released from the hospital and is recovering at home, Emami said.

(Writing and reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Greg McCune)