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L.A. County sheriff's deputy charged with beating girlfriend

March 8, 2013 | 10:24 am

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy has been charged with repeatedly assaulting a woman after she discovered on Christmas Day that he was involved with another woman, Orange County prosecutors said Friday.

Mark Eric Hibner, 44, of Anaheim, is charged with three felony counts of domestic battery with corporal injury and one felony count of criminal threats involving his now former longtime girlfriend. He is also charged with threatening to kill another woman, with whom he had previously had children, prosecutors said. 

He is expected to be arraigned Friday morning in Fullerton. He was arrested Dec. 30 by Anaheim police after a series of alleged attacks. He has been relieved of duty without pay, said L.A. County sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore.

Hibner got into an argument with the alleged victim on Christmas Day after she discovered a "sexually suggestive voicemail from another woman on the defendant’s cellphone," according to prosecutors. The alleged victim then contacted the woman, who confirmed she was having a sexual relationship with the deputy, prosecutors said.

The 22-year veteran of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department is accused of escalating the argument by grabbing the woman's hair and spitting and throwing a lighted cigarette at her while also punching her in the chest, according to prosecutors.

Hibner is also accused of attacking the victim again on Dec. 29, prosecutors say, when he allegedly grabbed her by the hair, pulling it side to side and calling her derogatory names.

He then allegedly pushed her onto the bed, straddled her, pinned her down with his knees on her shoulders and covered her mouth with his hand. He is also accused by prosecutors of repeatedly threatening to kill her.

The alleged assaults continued the next day. Prosecutors allege that Hibner, after waking the victim and dragging her to the living room by her hair, began choking her with his forearm across her throat.

The victim began crying, begging the deputy to stop and banging her foot on the floor to wake the neighbors. Hibner is accused by prosecutors of then trying to cover her mouth, pinching her nose and threatening to make her pass out before spitting on her and throwing a lighted cigarette at her.

Hibner on Feb. 19 met the mother of his children for a child visitation exchange, prosecutors said, and threatened to kill her if she appeared in court at a hearing scheduled for two days later. The hearing concerned a protective order for the crimes against his first alleged victim, according to prosecutors.

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-- Richard Winton 

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