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A Lancaster man will serve up to 10 years in prison for beating a pregnant woman last year – a violation of his probation for a prior conviction of assaulting another woman.
Luis A. Betemit, 25, pleaded guilty to felony strangulation, aggravated assault, aggravated assault of an unborn child and related counts regarding the March 14, 2018, incident in Lancaster city.
Lancaster County Judge David Ashworth sentenced Betemit to 4 to 10 years in prison for that case and a probation violation from a 2016 conviction of assault (with a different female victim).
Assistant District Attorney Susan Ellison asked for consecutive sentences on the recent case and the probation violation, considering Betemit – an amateur MMA fighter - was already under court supervision when he assaulted a woman, then his girlfriend, and their unborn child.
Judge Ashworth ordered three to eight years on the strangulation case, plus one to two years on the probation violation.
On March 14, 2018, Betemit beat and strangled a woman until she was unconscious when the woman – then eight-months pregnant – tried to end their relationship and leave their apartment.
Betemit threatened to kill her relatives if she reported anything to the police.
The woman sent photos of her injuries to a friend, who reported the matter to Manheim Township police. Officer Kelly Spence led the investigation and found Betemit had been beating the woman for some time.
Officer Matthew Bender filed charges.
Regarding the 2016 case, Betemit pleaded guilty to beating a woman who tried to leave their home. He threatened additional harm if she tried to leave again.
Strangulation, a second-degree felony in the 2018 case, became law in December 2016.
One in four women will experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime – 10 percent of those abused women will experience near-fatal strangulation by their partner, according to StrangulationTrainingInstitute.com.
The seriousness of strangulation is often underestimated because it is common to have no visible signs of injury from the abuse. However, it only takes seconds to strangle a victim into unconsciousness, and death can occur in minutes.
If you are experiencing domestic or intimate partner violence, please contact your local police department. You also can receive confidential assistance from Domestic Violence Services of Lancaster County by calling 717-299-9677.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @BrettHambright