OREM — A Springville man was charged Wednesday with assaulting his former live-in girlfriend with such a "high level of violence and brutality" that she may lose an eye.
Kevin Paul Rieske, 38, is charged in 4th District Court with attempted murder and aggravated assault, second-degree felonies; plus assault by a prisoner and obstructing justice, third-degree felonies.
On Sunday, Rieske called police asking for a welfare check on a 37-year-old woman in her Orem home. Rieske and the woman lived together 20 years ago and have a daughter together who is now in her 20s, police say.
Officers found the woman in a hallway outside a bathroom, "barely conscious, bloody, with signs of severe trauma to her head and face. (Paramedics) transported the victim to the hospital where she was found to (have) wounds consistent with being choked or strangled, and that both orbital sockets have multiple fractures, had a brain bleed, a collapsed lung, multiple broken ribs, a lacerated liver, and bruising around her wrists," according to charging documents.
The woman was believed to have been beaten with an object in the bathroom, such as a broom handle, the charges state.
"The blood on the floor and the blood spatter on the walls clearly indicate the high level of violence and brutality the defendant employed during the assault," investigators wrote in the court documents.
At the hospital, the woman said that Rieske told her his intention was to kill her, the charges state.
"At the time of this filing, the victim has undergone at least one surgery, and is likely to lose the sight in one of her eyes, if not the complete eye itself," according to the charges.
Investigators say Rieske and the woman exchanged "hostile texts" just prior to the attack.
After the assault, Rieske called his aunt to tell her what had happened and allegedly said he "did not know if she was 'dead or alive.'" The aunt noticed blood on Rieske's clothes when she picked him up.
"When asked whose blood it was, the defendant responded back, 'Probably both of ours,'" the charges state.
Rieske was also taken to the hospital after his arrest but became combative when investigators attempted to collect his blood-soaked clothes for evidence.
"The defendant was belligerent and uncooperative with hospital staff and officers. He was handcuffed to the bed. While the officers were seeking to collect his clothing, he kicked an officer to the side of the head," according to charging documents.
Rieske is no stranger to being arrested. Officers noted in the report that he has at least 13 prior convictions, and that some of his prior charges have included assault, sexual assault and assault on a police officer.
Help for people in abusive relationships can be found by contacting the YWCA's Women in Jeopardy program at 801-537-8600, or the confidential statewide Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-897-LINK (5465). Resources are also available online at udvc.org.