FALL RIVER (WBSM) — A New Bedford man convicted of violently assaulting his ex-girlfriend has been sentenced to serve five years in state prison, despite the victim’s refusal to testify against him.

According to Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn, Matthew Torres, 28, was convicted this week by a jury on charges of aggravated assault and battery with serious bodily injury, and domestic assault and battery.

Judge Susan Sullivan sentenced Torres to a five-year state prison term. D.A. Quinn said Torres is a repeat offender with a nine-page criminal record, including at least three other jail or state prison sentences for crimes ranging from domestic violence to burglary.

According to WBSM’s previous reporting, he was arrested in 2017 for an alleged home invasion and again in 2018 for an alleged attack on a man in Fall River.

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The new conviction relates to a September 23, 2022 incident in which New Bedford Police were called to a residence for a domestic disturbance, as the reporting party said his friend had just been attacked by her ex-boyfriend.

Police arrived and met with the female victim, who told police that the defendant was high on drugs when he attacked her.

“She said he punched her in the face multiple times and locked her in a dog kennel for about 10 minutes,” the D.A.’s Office said. “The victim was taken to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with a fractured eye socket and a broken nose.”

However, during the trial, the victim cut off her testimony and refused to answer any questions, despite being granted immunity by the court. She was given several opportunities to continue her testimony but refused to comply, and was jailed overnight for contempt of court.

The D.A.’s Office said Assistant District Attorney Courtney Cahill was still able to go forward with the trial by using the victim’s statements to police at the time of the incident as evidence, testimony from the 911 caller, two police officers, an EMT and the emergency room doctor to make her case.

“The defendant committed a brutal assault against the victim, which resulted in a broken nose and fractured facial bones. Unfortunately, the victim would not cooperate with the prosecution despite the severe beating and the granting of immunity by the court,” D.A. Quinn said.

Quinn took exception to the victim’s refusal to testify.

“This is something I’ve rarely seen in my career. As the judge indicated, this undermined the court proceedings and is an affront to the administration of justice. It’s very sad,” he said. “However, I commend the jury for using their common sense and concluding no one else could’ve inflicted these serious injuries. The defendant has a significant record and needs to be kept off the street to protect this victim and society.”

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