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Victoria man sentenced to prison for assaulting girlfriend

By Jessica Priest
Feb. 27, 2014 at 6:02 p.m.
Updated Feb. 26, 2014 at 8:27 p.m.

MATTHEW JOHN CASANOVA

A Victoria man was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years in prison after a jury convicted him of two counts of assault family violence.

Matthew Casanova, 37, was charged with beating a woman he was in a relationship with while they were in a grocery store parking lot April 4 and again at his home July 6, according to a news release from the district attorney's office.

The normal range of punishment is two to 10 years in prison, but Casanova had prior felony convictions, according to the release.

A jury deliberated about an hour and a half.

Casanova was represented by attorney Keith Weiser, who could not be reached for comment.

The defendants' family members, Victoria police officers and a local pastor testified.

Sometimes in public, the defendant would tell her when she could respond to questions and when it was appropriate to eat, First Assistant District Attorney Eli Garza said.

A grand jury originally indicted Casanova on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and sexual assault.

For the sexual assault, test results on DNA evidence were not complete. The victim also was uncooperative and asked that charges be dropped, testifying that she loves Casanova. She eventually assisted, Garza said.

"Victims of family violence do what they believe will preserve their safety and security," Garza said. "I am glad that the jury saw past all the issues with the case and followed the law. The jury's verdict sends a clear message that her life has value."

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