gavel and justice scales

A 26-year-old North Platte man will serve at least eight years in prison for the repeated assault of his then-girlfriend over multiple days in August at his residence.

Richard L. Vieyra was sentenced Tuesday morning in Lincoln County District Court to eight to 10 years for each of two charges of first-degree assault.

The sentences will run one after the other. District Judge David W. Urbom from Red Willow County said Vieyra must serve at least eight years to be eligible for parole.

Vieyra was credited for 153 days served.

“What you did is inexcusable, reprehensible and almost beyond belief,” said Urbom, who handed down the sentence after District Judge Michael Piccolo recused himself from the case in December.

Vieyra pleaded no contest Nov. 4 to the two felony counts, which were amended from the original charges of first-degree assault and first-degree false imprisonment

Two felony counts of strangulation and a first-degree assault charge were all dismissed in the plea agreement.

“I would just like to apologize to the victim,” Vieyra said as he addressed the court before he was sentenced. “I can’t imagine the pain she is going through or will deal with. I regret the decision that I made .. and the pain for both of our families. I’m sorry.”

According to a police report, the victim was taken to Great Plains Health emergency room Aug. 8 by members of the Rape and Domestic Abuse Program in North Platte.

The report lists among the victim’s injuries a severely bruised face; bruises on her mouth, ears, neck, throat, arms and legs; and rug burns on her knees and thighs. In addition, the victim had suffered a concussion and a chipped tooth.

The report states the assaults started Aug. 3 at Vieyra’s residence in North Platte and continued there over the next four days. The victim said he took her phone and keys and would not allow her to leave the house.

At one point the victim located her keys and fled the residence, but Vieyra eventually convinced her through phone calls and texts to return to his house, where he eventually assaulted her again, according to the report.

Urbom said his sentence was impacted in part by the lack of immediate remorse that he believed Vieyra showed after his arrest. Urbom also pointed to Vieyra’s criminal history, which started when he was 12 years old, his lack of success with probation programs and the results from a pre-sentence investigation that indicated that Vieyra’s chances of being a repeat domestic violence offender were high.

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