Woman sentenced to 20 years for beating and sexual assault of man so horrific jurors could barely watch footage

A Texas woman was sentenced to two decades behind bars for her role in a horrific beating and sexual assault of a man at a bar in northwest Harris County during a historic winter blizzard last year, an assault so savage that jurors found it difficult to watch during the trial.

On Thursday, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced the sentencing of 31-year-old Ariel Cordoba of Pearland who, along with 38-year-old Felix Vale, confronted their 49-year-old victim last year at the local watering hole and brutally beat, robbed and sexually assaulted him as nature’s fury howled outside with police unable to quickly respond as a result of the ice storm that paralyzed Houston and the vicinity.

“This was a vicious attack, and this woman not only participated but she also tried to hide the evidence of what happened,” said Ogg. “Our hearts go out to the victim, who was completely innocent and should have been safe just taking shelter from the cold.”

“It’s, I would say, the most savage beating I’ve ever witnessed,” Chris Condon of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office said of the incident that went down at The Fountainhead bar at the 17000 block of Ella Boulevard off of FM 1960 in north Houston at around 2 a.m. on February 17, 2021.

The prolonged assault – which lasted over 20 minutes – came after the victim was confronted by an “angry couple” while he was sitting at the bar, Vale and Cordoba then briefly departed before returning and launching their attack using “multiple instruments” including a barstool as they repeatedly pummeled him.

“They’re talking to each other. At some point there appears to be a bit of verbal altercation. The suspects exit the bar,” said Condon, the chief prosecutor and assistant district attorney. “From what we understand, they forced entry back into the bar and then began to assault the complainant with multiple instruments.”

(Video: YouTube/KHOU)

The victim was knocked unconscious at the very beginning of the attack as the two then proceeded to pistol-whip and beat him as he lay in a pool of his own blood, finishing it off by sexually assaulting him and stealing his wallet.

“A typical bar fight you see escalation, you see it getting out of hand, and then everything kind of goes down. That’s not what happened here,” Condon said. “That’s part of the thing that makes this so scary. There is no motivation. There was nothing that set them off.”

Cordoba, who pleaded guilty to multiple charges including aggravated sexual assault, aggravated robbery and aggravated assault got off lighter than her accomplice. Vale was sentenced to 82 years in prison earlier this month for his role in the attack that left the victim needing multiple surgeries.

“This horrible incident was captured on video, and it is very difficult to watch for witnesses, jurors and even the judge,” said Assistant District Attorney Ryan Volkmer, who prosecuted the case “This couple took deliberate actions and worked together to violently beat a complete stranger, and we have worked to see that justice is done.”

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