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Ex-Long Beach Officer Gets Prison for Wife 'Torture'

Judge hands Brandon Preciado 12-year sentence for the "physical and psychological torture" of his spouse

A 30-year-old former Long Beach police officer was sentenced to 12 years and four months in prison Monday for what a judge called the ``physical and psychological torture'' of his wife.

Brandon Preciado was convicted Oct. 2 of more than a dozen felonies and a handful of misdemeanors for repeatedly choking, beating and threatening his wife. The eight-woman, four-man jury, which deliberated for about a day, convicted him of six felony counts of corporal injury to a spouse, three counts each of assault with a deadly weapon and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and one count of criminal threats.

Preciado was also convicted of five misdemeanor charges -- three counts of assault and two counts of battery. He was acquitted of resisting, obstructing or delaying a law enforcement officer. Before sentencing, Preciado's wife, Yessenia, asked Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Craig Richman to consider Preciado's role as the father of three children.

``I am not here to make excuses or to say whether he's guilty or not guilty,'' Yessenia Preciado said. But she cited his military service and work as a police officer and said, ``He's a great family man.''

``I believe he needs help more than he needs prison time,'' she said.

Deputy District Attorney Amy Pentz countered, ``We respectfully disagree with her. This is a man who repeatedly beat, choked and tortured his wife.''

Prosecutors said Preciado's attacks on his wife occurred between Sept. 18, 2011, and Jan. 12 at the couple's Pico Rivera home. When one of the couple's children walked in on a beating, Preciado told the child he was just hugging Yessenia, according to Pentz. Preciado was legally eligible for probation, but Pentz asked for the maximum sentence of 16 years, 10 months.

``A probationary sentence or light sentence is what I would call a bad bet,'' the deputy district attorney said.

Defense attorney Leo Newton argued that his client had already suffered.

``He's lost his job, he's lost his career,'' Newton said. But Richman said the seriousness of the crimes and the fact that Preciado had never expressed any remorse during the trial contributed to his decision not to grant probation and to impose the 12-year, four-month sentence.

The judge also ordered Preciado to pay $1,266.91 to a victims' compensation fund. In an interview with police detectives and during a preliminary hearing, Yessenia testified to multiple attacks by her husband, who was a police officer at the time.

She said he threatened to hit her with a work-issued flashlight and to break her jaw if she didn't tell him the truth, and then wrapped a belt around her neck during the first attack. She said she suffered bleeding from her nose during an attack Nov. 11 in which her husband put her in a headlock. She also said he choked her during a New Year's Day run-in, but he told her he wouldn't kill her at the time because her brothers were in the home.

The woman testified that her husband pushed her into a tile shower wall, struck her with a closed fist, threatened to hit her with a hammer and break her jaw and then struck her with a broom on Jan. 4. Preciado hit her repeatedly Jan. 9 with his police-issued baton after ordering in an angry voice for her to get ``on all fours,'' and then woke her up a day later with his forearm against her neck, she testified.

The woman testified that she suffered a swollen left eye and bloody lips during the last alleged attack Jan. 12, saying her spouse repeatedly slapped her across the face, bent her left pinky back, bit her face and threatened that she should ``prepare to die'' before she ran to a neighbor's house to seek help.

But during the trial, Yessenia proved a more reluctant witness, repeatedly saying she didn't remember what had happened. Sitting in court Monday, she smiled when Richman said he would not issue a protective order because he felt Preciado's long jail term would make another violent attack unlikely. Yessenia Preciado had asked the court not to grant such an order because she wanted to be free to bring her children to visit their father, Pentz told the judge.

Preciado sat passively throughout the proceedings and seemed never to even glance at his wife. Before leaving the courtroom, Newton handed a notice of appeal to the court clerk.

John B. Greet October 29, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Not nearly a severe enough sentence, in my opinion. My prayers remain with the family that Preciado so despicably brutalized and terrorized.
hf2hvit October 29, 2012 at 11:12 PM
' ``I am not here to make excuses or to say whether he's guilty or not guilty,'' Yessenia Preciado said. But she cited his military service and work as a police officer and said, ``He's a great family man.'' ``I believe he needs help more than he needs prison time,'' she said. ' Honey...if you believe that, you need more help than he does...and it's one thing for you to choose that life but you have NO right to choose that for your children. Please...GET HELP.
John B. Greet October 29, 2012 at 11:15 PM
http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/battered+woman+syndrome
Nancy Wride (Editor) October 30, 2012 at 01:42 AM
I was thinking the same thing, John. But the kids do need to be out of a bad situation for many reasons, one of which is to avoid them learning the bad behavior.
John B. Greet October 30, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Nancy, I completely agree. My link was an attempt to explain the victim's attempts to mitigate, to any degree or for any reason, Preciado's despicable acts. I have seen this many times throughout my career...long term abuse victims speaking on bahalf of their abusers. Most long-term abuse victims require considerable therapy to get past their experience in a productive and long-term way. I hope that happens here as well.
Mike Ruehle October 30, 2012 at 06:45 AM
Good thing Preciado was arrested by the Sheriff's Department. If this had happened in Long Beach, it would have been covered up by the Long Beach police just like the coverup of Long Beach Police Chief Anthony Batts' MULTIPLE domestic violence incidents. http://www.longbeachcomber.com/story.aspx?artID=3365 Keep in mind, Preciado's fellow Long Beach police officers looked the other way while this torture was going on for 4-months.
Nancy Wride (Editor) October 30, 2012 at 07:12 AM
Is there any source material showing or suggesting anyone including Long Beach police knew about the beating inside or at his home outside Long Beach? I have not heard that reported.
John B. Greet October 30, 2012 at 03:36 PM
No, Nancy, I haven't seen anything like that either. Ruehle apparently has, though, (else why would he make such an incredible allegation about Preciado's former colleagues?) and I think it would be great (or, at the very least, responsible) if he would present his source material here, so that we all might be able to review it. I think it would also be great if he would offer some sort of proof to support his repeated allegation that former Chief Batts was involved in multiple domestic violence incidents and that some sort of cover-up occurred. Surely Ruehle must know that linking to a local story that offers no proof of its own cannot be considered as any sort of evidence or proof of his own allegations.

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