BARSTOW (CBS) — 62-year-old William Wade of Barstow was sentenced to six years in prison Friday for brutally beating and torturing his 43-year-old, live-in girlfriend, but in an unusual twist, the victim Debra Harper, also went to jail.
The Barstow police report obtained by CBS2 reveals the level of violence the victim endured. She told officers Wade beat her with a pole and a tire iron. When she called 911, Barstow said, “If I go to jail, I’m going to slit your throat”. The report says he punched her in the head twice. Marks on her arm and leg were caused by being struck with the metal pipe. She told officers she is in fear for her life and believes he will try to kill her and that he is fully capable.
But in an unusual twist to this domestic violence case, the victim Debra Harper was sent to jail for six months, for perjury. The District Attorney’s office says she lied and covered up repeated beatings she had endured in the past.
“I feel wrong. I shouldn’t be here. I am the victim. I’m the victim,” Harper said by phone during the time she was locked up in Rancho Cucamonga.
A domestic violence expert with the Children’s Institute, a non-profit group in Echo Park that offers resources, support and services to children and families is concerned about the message it could send to other victims. Breaking that cycle is breaking the silence.
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