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Man cuts off pregnant girlfriend’s nipples, stuffs blanket in her mouth so no one would hear her screams

A South Dakota man will spend up to 30 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to cutting off his pregnant ex-girlfriend’s nipples with scissors and stuffing a blanket in her mouth to muffle her screams.

The Argus Leader reports that Tony Deval Ledbetter, 45, of Sioux Falls, was arrested in October 2016 and charged with domestic aggravated assault. Initially, Ledbetter pleaded not guilty, but on Friday, he pleaded guilty during a preliminary hearing to three counts of domestic assault.

The charges stem from an October 11 incident in which Ledbetter was arguing with his former girlfriend in a home off of the 4300 block of W. 58th Street in Sioux. Ledbetter became so enraged that he started pummeling her with his fists. He then slammed her head into the ground, and when she tried to scream for help, he pushed his forearm into her throat area. He then grabbed a blanket and stuffed into her mouth to cut off her screams. The victim was pregnant at the time with Ledbetter’s child.

Shortly after, Ledbetter grabbed a pair of scissors and cut the victim’s nipples off while sitting on top of her. After the victim managed to escape and run out of the home, Ledbetter himself called 911. He maintained on Friday that he acted in self-defense. He faces up to 30 years in prison. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for November.

Meanwhile, the victim, whose name is disclosed for privacy reasons, said she had her baby and both of them are doing well. However, a friend started a GoFundMe fundraiser for the victim to help with “reconstructive surgery, medical bills, home/utilities, and child care.”