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California woman gets life for chopping off husband's penis

(Reuters) - A judge sentenced a Southern California woman who cut off her estranged husband's penis and tossed it in the garbage disposal to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Catherine Kieu, 50, was convicted by an Orange County jury in April of aggravated mayhem and torture following the July 2011 assault on her ex-husband.

Kieu drugged her former spouse before tying him up and severing his penis with a knife. She then threw it into the garbage disposal unit.

An attorney for Vietnam-born Kieu argued at trial that she had suffered sexual abuse as a child which left her with post-traumatic stress. She was remorseful about the attack, he said.

After the sentencing hearing, the victim - identified only as "Glen" - said he wished Orange County Superior Court Judge Richard Toohey could have given Kieu more time behind bars, City News Service reported.

"Deep down inside I was hoping for a stronger sentence, but given the restraints of the law this is what he had to do," he said.

"There may be a situation where I can be happy, but whole? Never ... I've got a long ways to go."

(Reporting by Tim Gaynor in Phoenix; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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