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4 Sentenced in Utah Gay Man’s Beating

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SALT LAKE CITY  – A Utah judge has ordered prison and jail terms for three men and a woman who pleaded guilty to the 2008 beating of a South Salt Lake gay man.

David Bell and his partner, David Fair, were assaulted in their home after a Fourth of July party because they were suspected of kidnapping two children from a neighbor.

Bell’s throat and toe were cut with a piece of broken glass. His head was also smashed on the sidewalk and he suffered hearing loss.

Ieti Mageo, 34, Ieti Nuusila, 27, and Ricky Peace, 35,  pleaded guilty to third-degree felony assault, burglary and rioting. They were among seven people charged in the attack.

Court records show 3rd District Judge Robert Faust sentenced the men to terms of zero to five years for each charge. The sentences will be served at the same time.

Tapululululu “Lulu” Latu, 32, the mother of one of the children, was sentenced to a year in jail. She had pleaded guilty to a Class A misdemeanor charge of attempted rioting. Faust suspended 180 days of the sentence and ordered Latu to also serve 24 months of probation.

The judge ordered the four defendants to collectively pay Bell nearly $15,000 in restitution, court records show.

Bell was originally charged with kidnapping but a jury acquitted him in 2009. During the trial, Bell said he took the kids from the neighbor’s house party because they were wandering unsupervised. Bell told police he put the kids, ages 2 and 4, on the couch so they could sleep.

Court affidavits show the children had already been removed from the home when the door to Bell’s home was kicked in and he and Fair were attacked.

Also charged in the attack were Angelina Dibella, 32, Marsha Finau, 31, and Lisa Rita Aiono, 27.

Finau has entered a guilty plea in abeyance to Class B misdemeanor riot. The charge will be wiped from her record in January if she commits no new crimes.

The charges against Dibella were dismissed.

Aiono is scheduled to stand trial on one third-degree felony charge of riot in June. If convicted, she faces a prison sentence of up to five years.

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Associated Press

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