An Idaho Falls man has been sentenced to probation after he pleaded guilty to domestic battery and attempted strangulation.
District Judge Bruce Pickett gave Fabian Taguinod, 30, an underlying prison sentence of two to seven years in prison. He will also be required to serve 100 hours of community service and pay a $1,000 fine.
Taguinod was arrested in December after the victim reported she had been abused by Taguinod over several weeks. She said he had held a knife to her throat, strangled her and forced her to perform an unspecified sex act.
Taguinod was charged with attempted strangulation and felony domestic battery, to which he pleaded guilty.
The victim gave an impact statement during the sentencing via Zoom. She asked Pickett to release Taguinod, saying she believed he understood that what he did was wrong and should undergo therapy.
“It’s unfortunate drinking caused a lapse in judgment for both of us,” the victim said.
Defense Attorney Jason Gustaves said his client had been on pretrial services and obeyed the rules of his release, with the exception of two violations of the no-contact order. Gustaves said his client had a prior sex offense as a juvenile.
Gustaves said Taguinod had applied for domestic violence court but was denied.
Bonneville County Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Alex Muir said he did not agree with Gustaves’ or the victim’s recommendation, asking Pickett to sentence Taguinod to prison.
“I make different recommendations than the victim may like, but I think I have an obligation to do that,” Muir said.
Muir cited reports Taguinod’s arrest in which the victim said she was “surprised I am not dead,” from the abuse he inflicted on her.
Muir also said Taguinod did not acknowledge choking the victim in an interview with the presentence investigator, despite having pleaded guilty to the crime. An evaluation found Taguinod was a high risk to reoffend.
Taguinod gave a brief statement acknowledging what he did was wrong.
Pickett said he did not feel he could give Taguinod a rider sentence because the program has had difficulty accepting and releasing participants due to the coronavirus pandemic. He expressed concern that Taguinod had violated the no-contact order but also noted he had otherwise obeyed the conditions of his release.
During sentencing, Pickett ordered that Taguinod obtain his GED and employment, and that the no-contact order would remain in place until he did, despite the victim’s request that it be lifted. He warned Taguinod that a violation of the order could result in him being sentenced to prison.
Taguinod also will be required to undergo domestic violence counseling.