The woman convicted of torturing her fiance's daughter by burning her with an iron, whipping her with electrical cords and hitting her with a hot metal spatula was sentenced today to an indeterminate life term in state prison.
Duewa Abeana Lee maintained her innocence in her sentencing hearing in front of Sacramento Superior Court Judge Cheryl Chun Meegan, but the victim in the case told the defendant today, "The things that you did to me made me afraid of almost everything."
The girl, who is now 14, went on to say, "I've moved on from the past and look forward to the future. I now live with people that love me and have made me to the point where I can forgive you, but I will never forget the things you did to me."
Jurors convicted the 37-year-old Lee on July 19 torture and 10 other felony counts. Authorities say most of the abuse took place in August and September of 2011 after the girl's father and the defendant's fiance was arrested for robbery.
According to testimony at trial, the girl, whose name is being withheld by The Sacramento Bee, was able to get away from Lee on Sept. 30, 2011, at a local Department of Motor Vehicles office and tell a patron that she was an abuse victim.
Authorities were called out to the DMV office and Lee was arrested.
The indeterminate life term imposed by Meegan on the torture conviction allows for the possibility of parole for Lee after seven years. The judge, however, added another nine years and four months to the term on the additional felony convictions.
Editor's note (2:10 p.m.): A previous version said that Lee tortured her stepdaughter, but Lee was engaged and not yet married to the girl's father.
Editor's note: Comments on this post were closed Sept. 19.