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Woman Acquitted on 2 of 3 Charges in Spouse’s Castration : Courts: Wife is found not guilty of mayhem and assault with a deadly weapon after her husband’s testicles were cut off. A retrial will be sought on charge of battery, on which jury deadlocked.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Los Angeles woman accused of severing her sleeping husband’s testicles with scissors was acquitted Friday of the main charges against her.

The Superior Court jury that heard the castration case against Aurelia Macias, 35, found her not guilty of mayhem and assault with a deadly weapon--charges that could have given her an 11-year prison term.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict on a lesser charge of battery, and the prosecutor said he would seek another trial on that count.

Jury forewoman Claudia Marshall, 56, said the panel believed that Macias had been “verbally and emotionally abused throughout the marriage” and was probably in fear of her life on the night of Sept. 20, 1992, when the castration occurred in the couple’s apartment.

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Marshall said the jury was not influenced by evidence that Macias’ husband, Jaime, has long wanted to drop the charges against his wife and to reconcile the 17-year marriage.

Marshall and other members of the jury said they did not believe Jaime Macias was in a drunken sleep at the time of the attack, as Deputy Dist. Atty. Larry Longo had alleged. The prosecutor said Macias attacked her husband out of jealousy after he danced with other women at a party.

Longo compared the case and its outcome to the case of Lorena Bobbitt, a Virginia woman who cut off her husband’s penis but was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

The prosecutor accused Macias of mimicking the tearful courtroom testimony of Bobbitt, who said she attacked her husband after he raped her. In Macias’ case, she contended that her husband had tried to force her to have sex with him before the attack.

Macias’ defense lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Nan Whitfield, said her client should never have been brought to trial.

She accused the prosecution of “inefficient use of public money” in trying a case in which the defendant was acting in self-defense, was unlikely to commit another crime and in which the victim did not want to press charges.


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