LOS ANGELES — A jury on Tuesday found a former Long Beach police officer guilty on all counts related to the ongoing abuse of his wife.
Jurors returned the verdict Tuesday afternoon, after starting deliberations late Monday, and convicted Brandon Preciado on 18 counts of spousal abuse and acquitting him on one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest, said Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
That includes 13 felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon, corporal injury to a spouse, assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and making criminal threats, with the jury finding Preciado personally used a belt, baton and flashlight in some of the attacks, she said.
The jury also found Preciado guilty on five misdemeanor counts of assault and battery, opting for the lesser charge instead of the felonies sought by prosecutors, Gibbons explained.
Preciado was arrested Jan. 12 after his wife fled their home around 2 a.m. following a brutal beating in which she told police and prosecutors her husband choked her, beat her with a police department-issued flashlight and bit her on the face.
The 29-year-old, who was working at the Long Beach Police Department at the time, hid the flashlight between two wall studs in a gutted bathroom, changed his clothes, turned off the phones and remained holed up inside the Pico Rivera property as sheriff's deputies surrounded the house.
Yesenia Preciado took the stand in her husband's trial last week and denied what she had said in several interviews with authorities and in her husband's preliminary hearing. She instead claimed her injuries were from "mutual combat" and said she couldn't recall the many instances detailed in the case, which spanned from September to Jan. 12.
Prosecutor Amy Pentz told jurors the wife's lies were to be expected due to the psychological abuse from which she still suffers from numerous beatings that included the use of Preciado's police baton and a broom handle. The DA also noted Yesenia Preciado is now struggling to raise the couple's three small children "without any financial support" from her husband.
"I understand Yesenia came in and said some of the situations involved mutual combat. That is not true. ... That is not why Yesenia ran out of the house at 2 a.m. fleeing for her life," Pentz said. "When she says she doesn't remember, it's not her fault. She doesn't want to remember. And who can blame her?"
With Tuesday's convictions, Preciado now faces 20 years behind bars. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 29, Pentz said.