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Ex-deputy faces trial in assault, torture of wife, rival

April 23, 2012 |  7:12 am

A trial is scheduled to begin Monday for a former L.A. County sheriff's deputy accused of torturing and sexually assaulting his wife and a man believed to be her lover in an Irvine office after learning of their affair.

Robert Avery McClain, 38, of Irvine, is charged by Orange County prosecutors in connection with eight felonies, including aggravated mayhem, torture, rape and sodomy in the Sept. 28, 2008, incident. He has entered pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity. He faces multiple life sentences if convicted.

The Orange County district attorney's office asserts that McClain drove to the leasing office where his wife, 31 at the time, worked. Her lover, then 23, lived in the complex. McClain and the two went to the office's break room, where he used a knife to stab the man and carve into his face "like a pumpkin," prosecutor John Cristl said.

Cristl told jurors in a hearing last week that McClain also forced his wife to shoot a gun aimed at her lover, but the chamber wasn't loaded. Prosecutors showed jurors slides of the office before the alleged attack and the blood-soaked carpet afterward.

Public defender Darren Thompson painted a different picture of McClain, describing him in a soft voice as a deeply rooted family man who snapped after learning of his wife's infidelity.


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— Lauren Williams, Times Community News