Friday, March 8 2013 7:13 PM EST2013-03-09 00:13:54 GMT
A local woman's decision to post a self-portrait of domestic violence on-line has brought her a new beginning she never expected. Amber Taylor posted on Facebook a photo of herself in the hospital afterMore >
A local woman's decision to post a self-portrait of domestic violence on-line has brought her a new beginning she never expected.More >
LIBERTY, MO (KCTV) -
Amber Taylor made international headlines as she transformed from victim to inspiration late last year when she took to social media to share her hospital picture after her boyfriend beat her with a baseball bat.
Taylor vowed to beat the cycle of violence.
But Friday, prosecutors said she recently professed her love for her attacker and is prepared to take him back once he is released from jail.
And that man, Austin McCauley, 19, insisted to a Clay County judge Friday that he didn't hit Taylor with a bat. Instead, he said Taylor accidentally hit herself during their struggle.
McCauley was in court Friday to plead guilty to second-degree assault. He said he struck Taylor with his hand, but he sought to have removed from court documents that he hit her with a baseball bat.
Taylor was not in court Friday. But prosecutors told the judge that Taylor has visited her attacker in jail and professed her love for him during taped jailhouse telephone conversations.
Taylor initially did not return telephone calls from KCTV5 on Friday seeking comment. After the story aired Friday night, she called KCTV5 and asked for her name and image not to be used. She said she had no comment.
When KCTV5 last spoke to Taylor, she said she hoped to inspire other women and girls to stand up against domestic violence and break the silence.
"You can stand up for yourself. There's ways you can do it, even if you have to whisper in somebody's ear and have somebody else take action for you. There's always a way to get out," Taylor said.
But she admitted to wondering what she did wrong to result in getting hit in the head by a bat.
Experts who deal with domestic violence victims say it is all too common for the victim and her attacker to reconcile.
"There's a thousand reasons why women go back into domestic violence situations," said Sara Brammer, director of domestic violence services at the Synergy Center.
She said women often return to their abuser several times before ditching them for good.
Brammer said she is worried about Taylor's safety.
"Unless there's intervention for the victim or the perpetrator, we would expect the violence to continue and expect it to get worse," she said.
Prosecutors agreed to have McCauley placed on five year's probation. He also would be sentenced to 60 days in jail, which he's already served. However, the judge could ignore the plea deal and sentence him to up to seven years in prison.
McCauley will be sentenced in April.
What should be done to stop the cycle of violence? Share your thoughts on KCTV5's Facebook page. Click here.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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