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Man sentenced to 24 years in prison for Longmont domestic violence case

A Longmont man was sentenced to 24 years in prison Monday for beating and strangling his ex-girlfriend.

Reo Thomas Contreras, 39, pleaded guilty in July to first-degree assault and tampering with a witness.

Contreras strangled the woman, also the mother of his child, in October 2018, according to a news release from the Boulder County District Attorney’s office, marking the third time he had strangled her since March that year.

The victim’s friend reported the assault despite the victim worrying that reporting would only make the situation worse. The victim was taken to a hospital where she learned Contreras tore an artery in her neck, putting her at risk for a stroke, according to the affidavit.

“Strangulation is one of, if not the, most violent and brutal forms of assault,” Senior Deputy District Attorney Ryan Day said in the release. “Research shows it often precedes homicide in the domestic violence context. I’m grateful to the victim’s friend for reporting this assault and to the Longmont Police Department for its efforts to hold the defendant accountable. They likely saved the victim’s life.”

Contreras was still on probation at the time of the reported assault after pleading guilty to second-degree assault stemming from a separate incident with the same woman. Contreras was sentenced to two years of probation and 103 days of jail time served on that case, and was legally restrained from being near the woman or her child.

“This sentence is what justice required, particularly given the prior assaults,” District Attorney Michael Dougherty stated in the release. “This strangulation case illustrates how dangerous domestic violence can be and why it is a top priority for our office.”

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