Boardman man sentenced for beating woman

YOUNGSTOWN — Robb C. Arent, 49, of Indianola Road in Boardman, was sentenced to four to six years in prison after pleading guilty earlier to charges of felonious assault, disrupting public services and domestic violence in a March 12, 2023, case in which he assaulted a woman at their home.

Caitlyn Andrews, county assistant prosecutor, told Judge Anthony Donofrio of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court that prosecutors were recommending that Arent get six to nine years in prison.

She said during Arent’s sentencing last week that a 47-minute audio recording captured the assault “that shows the beginning of that abuse and that assault that day. You can hear him screaming at her as she is telling him to stop because their child is asleep in the home.

“He gets in her face and she tells him ‘Leave me alone.’ She says she is going to call police and goes for her phone and that is when he begins to brutally beat her,” Andrews said.

“You can hear him punching her in the face multiple times, and while that is happening, he keeps screaming ‘You want to (expletive) with me? Is that what you want?’ And he’s punching her in her face and head.”

After that, he told her he was “going to have to kill himself because he’s going to have to go to jail for what he did to her.” She tried to leave multiple times from the assault, “which lasts hours,” Andrews said.

Each time she tried to leave, “he throws her to the ground, he gets on top of her and he chokes her,” Andrews said. “She keeps yelling ‘Please help me, please help me.’ And he keeps yelling ‘Don’t make me do it. Don’t make me do it,'” Andrews said.

Arent said he would kill himself if she told anyone what he had done, Andrews said, adding that when she tried to call 911, he broke her phone. A Boardman police report stated that the woman was “nearly unrecognizable,” Andrews said.

There was bruising around both eyes, lips, cheeks, forehead and neck, a Boardman police report states, according to Vindicator files. Andrews provided photos of the woman’s injuries for Donofrio to see.

Andrews said a report from emergency medical technicians who treated the woman stated that the woman had “massive swelling in various parts of her face” and that “it is easier to state the parts of her face that aren’t bruised and swollen.”

Arent told police later that the woman “attacked me and it got out of hand,” but the woman never attacked him, Andrews said. Photos of Arent at the time showed he had “one small scratch on his face and one small scratch on his chest,” Andrews said.

In the several years she has prosecuted criminal cases, “This is one of the most brutal domestic violence cases” she has seen, Andrews said. The bruising around the victim’s neck is “the most significant bruising I have ever seen from a choking case.”

Mark Lavelle, Arent’s attorney, said Arent was abusing drugs and alcohol at the time of the offenses. Since then, he got treatment and has not used drugs or alcohol, has held a job and continued to provide a place for the woman and family to live.

Arent spoke to the judge, talking about the opportunities he has with the company where he works. “I’m rebuilding my life with new people, new friends. I’ve found a stable home with a woman. We don’t fight. We don’t argue.” He said he wants to be “present for my children.”

The last thing Arent told Donofrio is “I don’t have a criminal record either, Your Honor.”

But the judge replied “You do have a criminal record.” The judge said it involves disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, menacing, assault, criminal damage and obstructing official business.

“So yeah, you do. Absolutely. It’s not horribly bad, but there are bad offenses,” the judge said.

“We see these all of the time. Someone gets indicted on a felony offense and they use their alcohol problem, their substance abuse issues, as the reason this all happened until they face a prison sentence. Then all of a sudden they do whatever they have to do.”

Then the judge asked Arent, “Did you see the photographs that were taken?” Arent said yes.

“Unrecognizable features,” the judge said of the victim. “This is a very serious-level felony.” He said the woman’s injuries were “serious, physical, psychological.”

Arent got credit for 53 days in jail awaiting trial. He is ordered to have no contact with the victim when he leaves prison.

Have an interesting story? Contact Ed Runyan by email at erunyan@vindy.com.


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