By Beth Smith
HENDERSON, Ky. – A Henderson man was arrested and charged with a relatively new law this weekend after he allegedly strangled a woman.
George R. Rigdon, 48, 100 block of Mill Street, has been charged with first-degree strangulation, a Class D felony, which is a new law in Kentucky. He was also charged with fourth-degree assault (domestic abuse).
Henderson police said the charges stem from an incident early Saturday morning in which Rigdon allegedly went to the victim’s home and assaulted her.
The victim said she answered a knock at her door and that’s when Rigdon allegedly became “aggressive toward her” because he believed another man had been at her residence, according to a citation filed at the Henderson Judicial Center.
The victim said Rigdon, “put one of his hands around her neck, pushed her against (the residence) and shoved his other hand against the left side of her face … the victim said when (Rigdon) put his hands around her neck it was hard for her to breathe,” court documents said.
HPD officers said there were visible marks on the victims throat.
When police located Rigdon, he agreed to speak to them, the citation said. Rigdon said he and the victim got into a fight about his current wife, and that the victim actually assaulted him, court documents said.
However, when authorities tried to question him further, Rigdon declined to comment.
He was arrested and lodged at the Henderson County Detention Center.
Strangulation was the subjected of a Kentucky Senate bill signed into law on March 26.
County Attorney Steve Gold said the topic had been one of debate for some time.
“The issue had to do with people being grabbed around the neck until they passed out,” he said. “But that, by law, didn’t qualify as second-degree assault, but was still incredibly dangerous. Some agencies would charge people with wanton endangerment, but now strangling someone is its own charge.”
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