BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A trial was scheduled to begin Monday morning for a Baton Rouge man accused of beating, burning, strangling, kicking and kidnapping a woman in 2012. Before the trial began Monday, the prosecutor offered him a deal to plead guilty and the man took it.
According to the prosecutor, Melanie Fields, 33-year-old Kevin Cortese, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, aggravated battery, and kidnapping. He was sentenced to 10 years for each count, but they will be served concurrently.
"He entered her house without permission and beat her about the face and body," said Fields. "He burned her with cigarettes, he twisted her breast. She had burns on her arms. He tried to strangle her and gripped her neck. She had severe bruising on her neck. He kicked her badly. She was severely injured. He dragged her by the hair through her apartment from one place to another, that's the kidnapping charge. He held her captive for many hours and eventually he left with her cell phone and keys."
Fields says the jury was ready to walk into the courtroom, but she offered him a plea, which she says was in his best interest.
"It's always a guaranteed conviction for us and it prevents a victim from going through a very difficult trial. He went ahead and took the deal," said Fields.
As part of the plea agreement, Fields dismissed some pending domestic charges. The victim was present and agreed to the plea.
"They were all domestic in nature. The idea is, had I gone forward, the victim would have had to go through three trials," stated Fields. "Had he put her through the trials that would have subjected him to a higher penalty. He risked a whole lot more time. I think for his attorney, he's young, in his early 30's, he agreed that was in his best interest."
Cortese has a long record of arrests, but he does not have a long record of convictions. Fields says over the years, Cortese's arrests were related to the victim in this case and at least two more victims.
"The abuse against today's victim goes back several years," said Fields. "When this happened, they were no longer in a relationship. She was trying to not see him anymore."
Cortese is being held in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison where he will serve 10 years.