Trial starts for woman accused of severing husband’s penis

Catherine Kieu, in court last year, is accused of cutting off her husband's penis and throwing it in a garbage disposal.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Opening statements were slated to begin Wednesday in the trial of a Garden Grove woman accused of lacing her husband’s dinner with drugs, cutting off his penis and tossing it in a garbage disposal.

Catherine Kieu, 50, faces felony charges of torture and aggravated mayhem, with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a knife, the Orange County district attorney’s office said. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison with the possibility of parole.


Kieu was arrested the night of July 11, 2011, after she and her 60-year-old husband -- whose name has not been released -- apparently argued about the possibility of a friend staying at their home, prosecutors said. Kieu allegedly then prepared an Ambien-laced dinner, prompting the man to become drowsy and go to bed.

As he slept, Kieu allegedly tied his legs and arms to the corner of the bed with rope. When he awoke, prosecutors said, she pulled down his pants, grabbed his penis and cut it with a knife.

She then allegedly went to the kitchen, threw it in the garbage disposal and turned the disposal on, prosecutors said, “mutilating the organ.”

Kieu then called 911 and said her husband was bleeding, prosecutors said. The man then spoke to the dispatcher and said his wife had cut off his penis.


Garden Grove police arrived, and the man was rushed to UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange. The Times previously reported that emergency surgery to reattach the severed organ was unsuccessful.

Police told The Times after the arrest that Kieu had told officers her husband “deserved it.” She later pleaded not guilty to the charges.



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