A man who beat a female co-worker in the head with a rubber mallet and tried to tape her mouth shut was sentenced Monday up to five years in prison.
Qin Cai, 31, pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault, all third-degree felonies, as part of a plea bargain.
Third District Judge Randall Skanchy sentenced Cai to three terms of up to five years in prison, but ordered that the sentences run concurrently. The judge also ordered that Cai be deported to his native China after the prison time is through.
Cai and the woman worked together at the University of Utah and Cai developed romantic feelings for her, but she did not want his attentions, according to prosecutors. Cai hit the woman while she was trying to get into her car on Oct. 16, 2007, and then tried to force her into the back seat and tape her mouth shut, but she was bleeding and crying so profusely that the tape would not stick.
She managed to get into the driver's seat and start the car, but Cai got into the passenger seat and brandished a knife, according to prosecutors. The woman eventually was able to drive away and get help from police.
Doctors needed to use metal staples for the wounds in her head.