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Former deputy guilty of torturing wife, her lover

Jury also found that Robert McClain, of Irvine, was legally sane at the time of the crime.

May 19, 2012|By Lauren Williams

A former Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy was convicted Monday of torturing his wife and her lover.

Robert McClain, 38, of Irvine forced his then-31-year-old wife and her then-23-year-old lover into the break room of the leasing office where she worked and made them undress at knifepoint, repeatedly punching and kicking both victims, according to prosecutors.

McClain's public defender, Darren Thompson, told jurors his family oriented client was driven to madness after discovering his wife's infidelity and that McClain initially acted in self defense.

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McClain pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity to eight felony charges. Jurors found McClain legally sane at the time of the crime Thursday afternoon.

He was found guilty of aggravated mayhem, torture, forced oral copulation, spousal rape, sodomy by force, false imprisonment and attempted sexual penetration by a foreign object, but not of felony kidnapping to commit a sex offense and sexual penetration by a foreign object.

Prosecutor John Cristl said in his opening remarks during the trial that McClain was an overbearing and controlling husband before the incident and said the floor of the break room was blood-soaked after hours of torturing his wife's boyfriend, who was beaten so badly he has no recollection of the crime, and thought he was in a car accident when he woke up in the hospital.

On the first day of testimony, McClain's former wife tearfully described her husband as possessive, questioning her every interaction with men, including colleagues she would run into at the printer at work and men walking down the street.

"I would always learn to walk with my head down," she said. "I would look toward the ground, just make sure I wasn't looking in the direction of another male."

lauren.williams@latimes.com

Twitter: @lawilliams30

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