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California Briefing / NEWPORT BEACH

$5-million bail is set in torture case

October 03, 2008|Richard Winton

A former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy charged with sexually abusing and torturing his wife and her younger suitor appeared briefly Thursday in a Newport Beach court where he was ordered held on $5- million bail pending an Oct. 17 arraignment.

Robert A. McClain, who resigned Wednesday from the Sheriff's Department after being charged with mayhem, torture and sexual assault, opted to delay his arraignment two weeks, said Susan Kang Schroeder, a spokeswoman for Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas. McClain faces a potential life sentence if convicted.

Authorities say the 34-year-old ex-Marine tricked his wife into introducing him to her lover and then held the couple captive for nine hours at an Irvine apartment complex where he beat them, forced them to undress at knife-point and ordered the woman to castrate the other victim.

She "fearfully pretended to follow his instructions," according to prosecutors. Schroeder said there were several puncture wounds in the man's groin area.

After slashing the man's face with the knife, McClain fled the scene and forced his wife to go with him, prosecutors said. McClain then sexually assaulted the victim, chopped off her hair with a knife and drove her back to their Irvine home, prosecutors allege.

-- Richard Winton

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