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New details emerge in case of woman charged with severing husband's penis

July 23, 2011 |  8:31 am

Photo: Catherine Kieu Becker, center, speakes to Vietnamese language interpreter Bao Luu, left, and public defender Frank Bittar in court Friday. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Court papers contain new details about the case of a woman charged with cutting off her husband's penis earlier this month.

The papers were filed as the woman appeared Friday in Orange County Superior Court. Judge Debra Carrillo agreed to a continuance in the case of Catherine Kieu, 48, who is being held on $1-million bail.

In a search warrant, Garden Grove police detail the incident. The victim, a 60-year-old man, was lying on the bed, his hands and feet tied to the bedpost with a white nylon rope.

He had a towel covering his groin area and told police his wife, Kieu, cut him. According to the affidavit, the victim came home from work at 5:30 p.m on July 11. The two had a discussion about a "male friend staying with them, but Kieu did not want the friend to stay with them."

The victim said Kieu prepared tofu for dinner. "The victim remembers the food tasting 'metallic.' "

Kieu asked the victim if he wanted seconds and he said no. After dinner, the man felt tired and went to bed about 9 p.m. He awoke to find Kieu tying his right wrist, and pulling off his clothes.

He alleges she grabbed his penis and "with one swift motion, she severed it."

On Friday, Kieu's attorney, Frank Bittar, a public defender, declined to speak to reporters outside the courtroom in Westminster except to say of the case, "There is more than meets the eye." 

Officials with the district attorney's office said the investigation is ongoing. The charges against Kieu include torture and aggravated mayhem, both of which carry life sentences.

After officers arrived at the couple's Garden Grove home, Kieu reportedly made a statement to police that her husband "deserved it." The couple had been married since late 2009, but the victim had filed for a divorce in May, citing "irreconcilable differences."

Police believe the suspect tainted the soup but are awaiting lab results.

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-- Nicole Santa Cruz

Photo: Catherine Kieu, center, speaks to Vietnamese language interpreter Bao Luu, left, and public defender Frank Bittar in court Friday. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

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