A Lincoln judge Tuesday sentenced Robert Clayborne to 25-35 years in prison for beating a woman with a belt and called him out for a record of assaulting women in five states.
"You are a serial abuser," District Judge Stephanie Stacy told the 36-year-old man before giving the sentence.
After the sentence came, Clayborne asked whether she was serious, then asked if he could appeal.
A woman, surrounded by friends, cried in the front row.
Police say early Dec. 27, they went to a hospital emergency room about a woman with bloody welts and bruises all over her body. She said Clayborne had accused her of cheating, pulled her out of the shower, beat her with a belt and threatened her with a butcher knife.
She described a beating that lasted two hours.
In court Tuesday, after an apology, Clayborne said it was more like 15 minutes. He pleaded no contest to second-degree assault and use of a weapon to commit a felony.
"I'm angry at myself right now because to me this case is about foolishness," he said. "I allowed myself to slip."
Clayborne said that day he was "triggered" by lies and cheating, and he drank. If he hadn't been intoxicated, it wouldn't have happened, he said.
"I'm not a danger to society. I just have a problem with women," he told the judge.
Deputy Lancaster County Attorney Lory Pasold asked for a substantial sentence, saying, "I think we're to the point Mr. Clayborne needs to be stopped."
In the end, Stacy said whether it lasted 15 minutes or two hours, Clayborne severely beat the woman and left her back bloody, and he threatened her with a knife.
She listed assault cases dating back to 1996 in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Washington and said Clayborne had shown that jail sentences hadn't impressed upon him the need to change.
Then Stacy sent him to prison.