- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 7, 2014

SALEM, Mass. (AP) - The owner of a Salem mixed martial arts studio charged with beating his ex-girlfriend so severely that she needed reconstructive surgery is seeking a plea deal, but a judge wants him to accept responsibility first.

Joseph Louf, 38, who is facing attempted murder charges, was in court Monday with his lawyer to discuss a possible deal.

Louf’s lawyer, Ray Buso, is seeking a four-year jail sentence, while prosecutors want at least eight years in prison, according to The Salem News (https://bit.ly/ZrQXLV ). Buso argued that Louf did a lot of good for the community and even helped the alleged victim lose 100 pounds.

The judge appeared skeptical.

“He’s going to swear under oath that he attempted to murder the victim, and he’s going to swear under oath that he committed an act of mayhem, or he’s going to trial,” Judge David Lowy said.

Lowy said nothing Buso was arguing was an acknowledgement of wrongdoing, but rather an attempt to mitigate or deny the allegations. The judge also rejected the possibility of an Alford plea, under which a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence to convict.

The woman has undergone several operations to repair damage to her eyes, ears and face, since ending her relationship with Louf in January, prosecutor Kate McDougall said.


Information from: The Salem (Mass.) News, https://www.salemnews.com

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