Dallas man in court, accused of sexually assaulting, mutilating girlfriend

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

WFAA

Posted on January 24, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 24 at 9:20 AM

DALLAS — The jury sat silently Wednesday as they saw graphic pictures of Maria Escamilla's beaten, bruised, and mutilated body.

Prosecutor Brandie Wade said it was a "night of terror" for Escamilla. Prosecutors claim Maria Escamilla was nearly beaten to death by her boyfriend, Jose Arreola.

The defense said she brought it on herself -- that she was the aggressor and this was self defense.

Arreola, 34, is charged with aggravated sexual assault, family violence and retaliation.

When Escamilla arrived at the hospital on March 13, 2011, her eyes were swollen shut, there were bruises all over her body, her hands were cut up.

Two top surgeons at Methodist testified about her multiple injuries and fractures.

Dr. Emmanuel Ubinas-Bache said "yes" when asked if Escamilla's life was in danger at the time. The other surgeon, Dr. Henry Jefferson, said, “At the time I arrived, she was in class-two shock. At that stage, a patient has lost 40 percent of their blood."

Arreola's defense attorney, Michael Todd, is trying to paint Escamilla as a trouble-making party girl, who drinks and likes to get in fights. Escamilla has a prior aggravated assault conviction.

Todd said on the night of the incident, Escamilla attacked Arreola and her wounds came from self defense. He asked almost every witness on the stand if Escamilla was "being the aggressor or being compliant?"

The Dallas District Attorney's Office said this is one of the worst cases of domestic violence they've ever seen in which a victim survived. Prosecutors say some of Escamilla's body was mutilated, using knives and sharp objects.

She has undergone numerous reconstructive surgeries, and had more than 500 stitches.

Prosecutors say she will never be the same.

Arreola is out on bond while he is on trial.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

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