Wife Formally Charged for Cutting Off Husband's Penis, Could Face Life in Jail

PHOTO: Catherine Kieu Becker was arrested on July 11, 2011, for allegedly tying her husband up and cutting off his penis.
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The California woman accused of cutting off her husband's penis now faces formal charges that could land her in jail for life.

The Orange County District Attorney's office on Wednesday charged Catherine Kieu Becker, 48, with two felony counts -- torture and aggravated mayhem -- with sentence enhancement for causing great bodily injury, said Susan Schroeder, the DA's chief of staff.

Becker received a court-appointed attorney, police said. Her arraignment was postponed until July 22, and she will also have a bail hearing at her next court appearance.

She faces a maximum sentence of life in prison with parole, and is currently being held in the Orange County Jail without bail.

After Becker, a real estate broker, laced her 60-year-old husband's dinner with an unknown drug, he lay down believing something was wrong with the food, said Lt. Jeff Nightengale of Garden Grove, Calif., police.

Her husband then woke up tied to the bed as Becker cut off his penis with a knife, Nightengale told ABC News on Tuesday. She threw the genitalia in the garbage disposal and turned the disposal on.

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The victim's ex-wife, Dr. Manal Soliman, was in disbelief when she heard the news of her ex-husband's castration. Soliman was married to him for eight years before the couple divorced in 2002. She has never met her ex-husband's wife.

"He's a really nice person and I know he truly cared for her a lot," said Soliman. "I heard they got to know each other at church. I don't know how a churchgoing woman could do something like that."

Her husband filed for divorce in May, citing "irreconcilable differences." Nightengale said Becker was "upset" about the divorce, but could not confirm why she wanted to cut off her husband's manhood. The couple has no children.

After cutting off his penis, Becker eventually called 911 to ask for medical assistance. When firefighters and police arrived on scene, Becker told officials that her husband "deserved it," said Nightengale.

Police found the man, who remains unidentified, tied to the bed and "bleeding profusely."

Her husband was rushed to University of California at Irvine Medical Center for treatment.

"Police were able to recover portions of the penis from the garbage disposal," Nightengale said, but it was unclear whether doctors would be able to reattach them.

"He is in amazingly good spirits considering what happened," said Nightengale on Wednesday.

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