MANASSAS, Virginia -- A man whose angry wife sliced off his penis with a kitchen knife was arraigned Thursday on a charge of sexually assaulting her.
John Bobbitt, 28, appeared briefly in Prince William County, Virginia, Circuit Court and a judge amended his personal recognizance bond to allow him to travel and live with relatives in New York. A jury trial was scheduled Sept. 27.
Bobbitt turned himself in to police Wednesday following his indictment on a charge of marital sexual abuse. On the same day, Lenora Bobbitt, 24, had a malicious wounding charge against her certified to a grand jury.
Both face maximum penalties of 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors did not seek a more punitive spousal rape charge against the husband because of the language of Virginia's marital rape laws, described by some state leaders and women's advocates as outdated.
Bobbitt, a nightclub employee and former U.S. Marine, had his penis reattached during a 9 -hour operation after his Venezuelan-born wife cut it off with a 10-inch filet knife.
She told police she severed his organ the morning of June 23 in retaliation for his raping her. She has since filed for divorce.
'I pulled back the sheets and then I did it,' she said in a statement read by a police officer during her preliminary hearing.
'If he wanted to make love, he should have asked,' Mrs. Bobbitt said in a transcript read aloud in court by Peter Weintz, a police detective.
Mrs. Bobbitt left the couple's home and took the severed penis with her, and threw it out her car window into a trash can. Later she called police and directed them to the site. Rescuers retrieved it, packed it in ice and took it to a hospital to have it reattached.
Investigators described a troubled marriage that deteriorated into a night of violence. The Bobbitts had experienced several separations and reconciliations, according to testimony.
Mr. Bobbitt's lawyer, Gregory Murphy, who said it will be several years before doctors know how fully his client will recover, suggested the sex was consensual.
Bobbitt was planning to divorce his wife and she assaulted him in a jealous rage, Murphy said.
'He was brutally attacked,' Murphy said. 'He can't understand how the criminal justice system can now turn around and charge him with a crime.'
Mrs. Bobbitt will argue self-defense, said her attorney, James Lowe.