Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Case # 11ZF0127
June 28, 2013
Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
WOMAN SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR TORTURING MAN BY CUTTING OFF HIS PENIS AFTER TYING HIM TO BED
*Defendant was in a romantic relationship with the victim
SANTA ANA – A woman was sentenced today to seven years to life in state prison for torturing a man, with whom she had a romantic relationship, by cutting off his penis after tying him to his bed following an argument. She was sentenced to an additional two years in state prison for the personal use of a knife. Catherine Kieu, 50, Garden Grove, was found guilty by a jury April 29, 2013, of one felony count of torture, one felony count of aggravated mayhem, and a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a knife.
At the time of the crime, Kieu and 60-year-old John Doe had a romantic relationship and lived together in Garden Grove.
On the night of July 11, 2011, Kieu and John Doe had an argument over the possibility of a friend staying with them at their home at a later date. The defendant then prepared dinner for the victim and laced it with Ambien without the victim’s knowledge.
At approximately 9:00 p.m. John Doe became tired as a result of being drugged and went to bed. As he slept in his bed, Kieu tied the victim’s legs and arms to the four corners of the bed with nylon ropes. When John Doe awoke, the defendant pulled down his pants, grabbed the victim’s penis, and severed it with a knife. Kieu then took the penis to the kitchen, threw it into the garbage disposal, turned it on, and mutilated the organ. After attacking the victim, Kieu called 911 and reported that John Doe was bleeding. John Doe then spoke to police dispatch and reported that his penis had been cut off by the defendant.
Garden Grove Police Department officers, who investigated this case, arrived at the scene and John Doe was transported to University of California, Irvine Medical Center. He was released from the hospital after undergoing emergency surgery.
During the trial, the defense argued that Kieu was suffering from depression and other mental health issues, and therefore should not be found guilty because she did not have the requisite intent to complete the crime.
At the sentencing today, John Doe gave an impact statement and said in part, “The convicted viciously deprived me of part of my life and identity. Then, as is routine in cases of violence that involve something sexual, the victim must endure, at the hands of the defense, a second attack. This was a cruel and calculated violation of a person’s body and mind. I now struggle with what is before me. She has torn off my identity as a man. She has caused doubt in my belief in good. She has betrayed my trust in people.”
Senior Deputy District Attorney John Christl of the Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted this case.