CENTERVILLE, Utah (ABC4 News) – A 30-year-old man was charged with multiple felonies earlier this month after police say he brutally attacked his wife as she was trying to move out of their home.
Charging documents state officers were called to the home of Michael Patrick O’Neal on June 11 on a report of a domestic incident in progress.
When officers arrived at the home, they noticed the front door to the home was open. An officer knocked on the door and yelled, “police” then heard a female yelling for help.
When officers entered the home, they found a woman lying on the floor with O’Neal on his knees lying over her. Police said O’Neal moved away from the victim as the officers entered the room.
The victim reported she has been in the process of moving out of the home and they were arguing when O’Neal stood in front of the door and would not let her leave the apartment.
She told officers that he pulled her to the ground and tried to sexually assault her, but she was able to get away and leave the apartment. She still had items inside the home, so she contacted O’Neal to see if he would bring her TV out to her. O’Neal told her she needed to come inside to help carry the TV to the car.
The victim said when she got into the bedroom, O’Neal grabbed her and attacked her. He allegedly slammed her against the wall with his arm over her neck so she could not breathe.
When the victim yelled for help, she said O’Neal pushed her head into a blanket. She said could not breathe and said that “everything went black.” The woman told police O’Neal tried to put duct tape on her mouth.
Police said the sexual assault was in progress when officers arrived at the home. Officers took photos of injuries on the victim’s face, wrists, and arms.
O’Neal allegedly admitted to police he had been holding the victim down on the floor when the police arrived. He stated he put her down on the ground, and asked her “why do you want to destroy my soul?”
He said he tried to put duct tape on her mouth because she was “acting like she was being raped and she wasn’t.”
The victim had a sexual assault exam done by a sexual assault nurse examiner and the nurse observed she had several bruises from the assault. The victim also had bruising on her face, breast, arms, and on her knee.
The victim disclosed to police a lengthy history of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her husband. On one occasion, she said O’Neal texted her and told her to “get ready.” Understanding O’Neal meant he wanted to engage in sexual activity with her, and she did not want to, she turned on an audio recorder on her phone.
In the recording, police said the victim begged O’Neal not to hurt her and asked him to stop. He allegedly hit her several times and forced her to perform a sexual act on him. O’Neal continued to hit her, pull her hair, and covered her mouth and nose with his hand, so she could not breathe.
She later sent a copy of the recording to a friend which was provided to law enforcement. The audio recording is consistent with the assault described by the victim.
At one point in the recording, O’Neal threatened to cut off the victim’s head. Police said the noises on the recording are consistent with the victim’s statement that the defendant was hitting her during the assault.