Man gets 5-year sentence in battery

A Columbus man who admitted brutally battering a woman after a Valentine’s Day date has been sentenced to five years in prison.

The sentence for Gregory S. Taskey, 32, 2225 Union St., was handed down by Bartholomew Circuit Judge Stephen Heimann.

The victim is a 44-year-old Kentucky resident who was visiting the defendant in Columbus when the assault took place during the early-morning hours of Feb. 15.

Having dated Taskey off-and-on for eight months, the woman claims they returned to his home after dining at a local restaurant, according to a probable-cause affidavit filed Feb. 18.

But hours later, when the woman refused to submit to an act she considered deviant, Taskey struck her repeatedly on her head and face with a closed fist, as well as inflicted other serious injuries, Columbus Police Department Detective Michael Beerwart wrote.

The victim was able to escape from Taskey’s home and walk more than two blocks before being spotted by a Home Avenue resident, court records state.

The resident called 911 to report seeing a woman covered with blood, who was taken to the hospital after being located by officers, the affidavit stated.

Due to the extent of her injuries, the woman was transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, where she was treated for multiple fractures to facial bones, Beerwart wrote.

During her testimony Thursday, the victim said her jaw was fractured, both sides of her nose were broken, and she suffered significant trauma to her right eye.

Taskey was found early Feb. 15 at his residence and was arrested without incident, police reports state.

During a search of his home, officers found blood-soaked bed linens, the affidavit stated.

Nevertheless, the victim — who agreed to appear as a defense witness, rather than for the prosecution — asked the judge not to send Taskey to prison.

Instead, she suggested he receive treatment for anger management and substance abuse while on probation.

“Prison is not the answer,” the woman told Heimann. “There’s still a good person in there.”

She also asked that the protective order that had been in effect between the defendant and herself since February be lifted.

In further seeking leniency, defense attorney Mark Dove told the judge the defendant’s violent behavior was the result of brain injuries suffered during a July 2006 accident.

Taskey testified he has long had an addiction to pain pills, cocaine and alcohol. Dove and the victim told the court those are the triggers for his violent outbursts.

But in his decision to send Taskey to prison, Heimann noted the following:

A psychiatric examination indicates Taskey is at a high risk to commit similar violent crimes.

Taskey has been engaged to be married at least six times. In at least two of those relationships, he struck the women.

Despite knowing that alcohol and drugs triggered his violent behavior, he continued using them.

The Indiana Department of Correction has programs for anger management and substance abuse, while Taskey’s parents said they were unable to find therapeutic programs to help their son.

The defendant admitted he was abusing alcohol and drugs before his 2006 accident, as well as after. Previous attempts to treat his condition were unsuccessful.

The judge said that, if Taskey successfully completes anger and substance abuse therapy in prison, he will consider reducing the sentence.

Although Taskey originally was charged with rape, he accepted a plea bargain Oct. 12 that allowed him to plead guilty to an amended count of battery resulting in serious bodily injury as a Level 5 felony. In exchange for the plea, the rape charge was dropped.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.