Man who tortured wife during road trip through Colorado sentenced

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DENVER — A 64-year-old man who plead guilty to beating his wife over the course of five days during a 2012 road trip to Colorado was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday.

Tom Joe Grose pleaded guilty to first-degree assault and attempted unlawful sexual contact, said Sue Lindsay of the 17th Judicial District.

The couple were traveling from Nevada in a camper through Arizona, New Mexico and into Colorado. On April 25, 2012, Grose was arrested in the parking lot of a Walmart on Grant Street in Thornton after his wife escaped from the camper and ran to a customer begging for help, Lindsay said.

Prosecutors said Grose had systematically tortured and beaten his wife over a five-day period.

If the woman had not been able to escape and seek help when she did, the case could have been a homicide, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Patrick Costigan.

The woman had four broken ribs, a lacerated liver and a perforated ear drum when she was rescued. Prosecutors said Gorse at one point shoved a screw driver into her ear.

The victim also told police he repeatedly threatened to kill her, choked her and held a gun to her head, Lindsay said.

Adams County District Judge Thomas Ensor gave Grose the maximum sentence. During the sentencing hearing Ensor called Grose “sick” and “an animal.”

In addition to the jail time, Grose was ordered to pay $16,800 in restitution for the victim’s medical bills. He must also register as a sex offender upon leaving prison.

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