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Johnson City man sentenced to eight years in assault on former girlfriend

Becky Campbell • Mar 7, 2017 at 6:13 PM

A Johnson City man accused of assaulting a woman who broke up with him, urinating on her and preventing her from seeking help pleaded guilty to lesser charges as well as 20 counts of violation of an order of protection.

Steven France, 32, appeared Tuesday before Washington County Criminal Court Judge Lisa Rice for his hearing. He pleaded guilty to domestic assault, attempted aggravated kidnapping, evading arrest, aggravated assault, 20 counts of violating an order of protection and a violation of probation from a previous conviction.

France was sentenced to a total of eight years and two terms of 11 months, 29 days in jail. The sentence was suspended to a total of one year, and he’s been in custody since his arrest in June.

The charges stem from two incidents. In June, city officers were dispatched to a domestic disturbance on Johnson Avenue. When they arrived, France was outside and walked away from officers. They heard a female screaming for help and saw a woman hiding in some bushes with blood on her face.

The woman told officers she tried to end the relationship with France and didn’t want to see him anymore. They ended up having sex, but France got angry, urinated on the woman and beat her, according to Assistant District Attorney General Robin Ray. Court documents said France would tell the woman to leave, but when she tried to leave, he pulled her back by her hair.

The woman told police she lost consciousness twice during the ordeal. She was finally able to escape. Ray said the incident occurred while France’s grandmother and bedridden grandfather were there as well. After France’s arrest, the woman sought an order of protection, but France violated the order by calling her hundreds of times from the Washington County Detention Center.

During the plea hearing, Rice told France that he is to have absolutely no contact in any manner with the woman.

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