A woman with brain damage from her husband's drunken beating tearfully asked a Dakota County judge on Thursday to send him to prison, saying the trauma has left her unable to recall what was said to her five minutes earlier.
Amy Kees told the judge how Brent P. Selge "looked me straight in the eye" as he was punching her in the ribs he had previously broken. The final assault last July in Apple Valley left her bruised, bloodied and hospitalized in intensive care for six days with a traumatic brain injury.
"He had no mercy on me. None. He never has," said Kees, 30, who has since divorced Selge.
Judge Michael Mayer complied, sentencing Selge to 15 years in prison, more than five years longer than what state sentencing guidelines recommend for the offense.
In April, Selge was convicted of first- and third-degree assault on Kees. Even though a no-contact order was in place, he had been charged a month earlier with a pattern of harassing conduct.
Kees testified she has trouble now with reading, writing and numbers. She is no longer able to work in the mortgage industry, as she had.
The case revolved around an alcoholic couple, a wife who went to treatment only to come home and find a bottle of vodka and lemonade -- her favorite drink -- left for her on the kitchen counter, and a man with a history of assaults and terroristic threats against others.
In a presentence report, a probation officer called Selge one of the most dangerous people he's encountered. And Mayer called it one of the most difficult, egregious cases he's had, and one that shows how alcohol can ruin lives.
Last July 5, caretakers of the couple's Apple Valley apartment had called police, who followed a trail of blood from a garage to the third floor. There, they found Kees in a hallway, unconscious, naked and bleeding.
Selge claimed that after she had an accident in the garage, he was trying to get her upstairs and that they were hot, so they took off their clothes.
Selge, who maintained his innocence during the trial, apologized to Kees, to her family and to his family on Thursday.
"Amy, I am truly sorry," he said as she sobbed. "I pray every evening that you do recover because that's the only thing that I care about."
A presentence investigation details Selge's violent history, including a similar attack in 2004 on another drunken woman who was passed out. Probation officer Jon Gilbertson wrote in his report on the current case that he found Selge lacked remorse, despite apologetic letters and statements.
Mayer said he found particularly troubling a recent psychological evaluation and another from 2005, related to the 2004 assault of Kari Johnson.
"It scares me that you think that you don't hurt women," the judge said.
The judge also told Selge that while he can get treatment to fix his life, Kees cannot. "She's not going to be fixed," Mayer said.
"It's absolutely one of the most egregious cases I have encountered," the judge said.
A jury convicted Selge in April. It found particular cruelty, vulnerability of an extremely drunk victim and other aggravating factors that enabled Mayer to increase the sentence by more than five years over state guidelines.
Selge also will be required to register as a predatory offender.
Joy Powell • 952-882-9017