Ex-deputy gets 4 life terms for assault in Calif

July 13, 2012 - 5:44 PM

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy and former Marine was sentenced to more than four life terms Friday for torturing his then-wife and her boyfriend after discovering their affair.

Robert McClain, 38, offered a barely audible apology before Orange County Superior Court Judge Gary Paer sentenced him to 20 years in state prison plus four life terms.

"This is one of the worst things I have seen in a long time," Paer said, according to The Orange County Register.

Jurors convicted McClain in May of torture and sexual assault and found in a subsequent deliberation that he was sane at the time of the attack.

During the trial, prosecutor John Christl told jurors that McClain's 12-year marriage was crumbling and his wife became involved with a 23-year-old man for about four months. The man lived in the Irvine apartment complex where the wife worked as a leasing agent.

McClain eventually found out and persuaded his wife to let him meet his romantic rival — a musician who had moved to California to audition for "American Idol."

The Sept. 28, 2008, confrontation took place in a leasing office break room that became what prosecutors called a makeshift torture chamber, with McClain using two guns and a knife he had brought to the meeting. McClain repeatedly struck the man with his fists, asking him how many times he slept with his wife, then took a knife and slashed the victim's face, arm and groin, authorities said.

At one point, McClain gave his wife a gun and ordered her to fire, but when she did there were no bullets.

He also urinated on the couple, ordered his wife to cut her boyfriend's genitals and sodomized the man with the knife before taking his wife to his car and sexually assaulting her there, prosecutors said. McClain then cut off her hair and drove her to their Irvine home, where he knocked her to the ground and broke her clavicle when she tried to escape.

McClain's wife, who was 31, was eventually able to escape after McClain brought her back to her house. She drove with the couple's four children to the hospital, where medical staff called police.

A cleaning crew discovered the man at the leasing office the next morning.

He suffered brain damage, multiple broken bones in his face and genital stab wounds, and needed four months of rehabilitation to learn how to walk and talk again.

Deputy Public Defender Darren Thompson told jurors McClain at first acted in self-defense, but then "lost it."

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Information from: The Orange County Register, http://www.ocregister.com