"Justice definitely was served today."
That's what the domestic violence victim said after her attacker and one-time, live-in boyfriend was sentenced to 18 months in prison. At Tuesday's hearing, former Bellevue resident Rudolph Perez, 47, received one month short of the maximum punishment for a felony domestic violence conviction.
Perez, now of Rocky Ridge, pleaded guilty in early July. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to dismiss one count of sexual battery.
The victim cried as she spoke to Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway about the Dec. 15 incident.
"I told him no. I told him to stop. He didn't listen to me," the woman said. "He hurt me so bad I can't be with another man."
Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler told the court Perez was "highly intoxicated" when he attacked the woman and he also "struck out at a third party" who came to her aid.
"Drinking played a large part," Leffler said. "He viciously attacked her."
When the Bellevue Police Department arrived, officers found bruises on both of the victim's biceps and scratches on her chin.
"This is a very serious matter. Mr. Perez is very sorry for what happened," Huron County Public Defender David Longo said.
The judge had a different perspective. Conway said he couldn't find that Perez had any genuine remorse.
"I don't hear any apology to her," the judge said.
The incident, according to Longo, started when Perez and the victim "were fooling around in the shower."
"This got very, very out of control," the public defender added.
In his experience with Perez, Longo said his client usually is soft spoken and polite with many redeemable qualities. But he said Perez must be a completely different person when he starts drinking.
"There's one who comes out when is drinking," Longo said. "There are some people who should not drink."
While the public defender stressed there's no reason to believe the victim "asked" for what happened to her, he said she must have known what happens when Perez drinks.
This is Perez's first felony conviction. He has an extensive misdemeanor and traffic-related record. The defendant's April 12 indictment indicates he "was convicted of domestic violence twice" in Bellevue and Tiffin municipal courts.
Longo said it's possible that without alcohol playing a factor in many of the cases, Perez likely wouldn't have a criminal record at all.
Conway said it's clear "alcohol abuse" played a part in the Dec. 15 incident, but he said Perez hasn't taken any steps to address his alcoholism. The judge, who ruled the victim suffered significant psychological harm, also said this offense was one of the most serious domestic violence cases he's seen.