August 9, 1997 in City

Crimes Had ‘Evil Motivation,’ Judge Says Woman Gets 20-Year Sentence For Torture Of Onetime Friend

By The Spokesman-Review
 

A 36-year-old woman was slapped with an exceptionally long sentence of 20 years Friday for her role in the rape and torture of a onetime friend.

Spokane County Superior judge Greg Sypolt found Theresa Spickler-Bowe’s crimes to have been committed with an “evil motivation” that demanded a punishment stiffer than the normal maximum of 12 years.

Sypolt said the case reminded him of “something out of the Middle Ages and medieval torture devices.”

The victim, a 42-year-old New Jersey gas station attendant, suffered a broken nose, cheek and ribs and was bruised over half his body. Doctors testified that the man had been raped with a broomstick.

A jury found Spickler-Bowe guilty of rape and assault June 27 after 1-1/2 hours of deliberation. A handful of jurors showed up at sentencing, but declined to comment.

The victim’s former girlfriend, Eunice Eickhoff, also pleaded guilty and testified against Spickler-Bowe. Her sentencing is scheduled Aug. 28.

Spickler-Bowe’s response: “All I’ll say is that I’m sorry for what happened to (the victim) in my house, but I did not do this. I’ll die saying I didn’t do this.”

The victim and Eickhoff moved from New Jersey to Spokane in September 1996, to be near Spickler-Bowe, a former neighbor in Bordentown, N.J.

The three moved into a northeast Spokane apartment. Soon after, Eichkoff and Spickler-Bowe began verbally and physical abusing the victim. The man testified during the trial that he was forced to stand outside the apartment in his underwear in December as punishment for being flatulent.

The abuse escalated as the women beat him, chained him to the stove, burned him with a spatula and raped him, he said. The women kicked him out in January, when he was found by police.

In arguing for an exceptional prison term, prosecutor Patti Connolly Walker described the length of the abuse and the victim’s wounds. One emergency room doctor said only car accident victims arrived in worse shape.

“(The victim) bears scars today, and will do so for some time,” Walker said.

The man could have fled every day when he went to work at a Spokane day-labor company, countered defense attorney Dennis Dressler. “He had every opportunity to flee this woman, if she was so terrible.”

The victim said he was unsure why he remained during the abuse. “I wish I had” left, he said during the trial.

In a statement read Friday, the man requested severe punishment for his former girlfriend and friend. “No one should be treated as I was,” he wrote.

He has returned to his original job as a gas station attendant on the New Jersey Turnpike.

, DataTimes


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