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Update: Man gets 45 years in prison for cutting off pregnant ex-girlfriend's nipples

CANTON, S.D. -- A 45-year-old Sioux Falls man who cut off his pregnant ex-girlfriend’s nipples with a scissors will spend much more time in prison than he originally thought.

In a sentencing hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 28, Circuit Court Judge Douglas Hoffman ignored a plea bargain calling for no more than 30 years in prison and sentenced Tony Ledbetter to 45 years on the three charges of aggravated assault, according to the Lincoln County clerk of courts office.

He was given 15 years to run consecutively on each of the three counts.

Deputy state’s attorney Amanda Eden said the victim, who was pregnant with Ledbetter’s child, was “very happy” about the longer sentence.

The victim, she said, read a letter in court where she described the physical and mental toll the assault in her south Sioux Falls apartment had taken on her. She replays the attack in her mind every day, she said, and looks at her scarred body and wonders why anyone could do such unthinkable things.

Eden said Ledbetter in the attack strangled the woman unconscious while sitting on top of her and then cut off one of her nipples. She then woke up and he knocked her out and then cut off her other nipple, Eden said.

She told the court about the many surgeries she has and will undergo, including reconstructive surgery.

Ledbetter apologized in court on Tuesday. However, the victim also asked Ledbetter: "Do you feel like a man?"

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