A South Dakota man, Tony Deval Ledbetter, who had cut off the nipples of his ex-girlfriend in 2016 has pleaded guilty to domestic aggravated assault. The 45-year-old man, who was arrested in October 2016, had originally pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Ledbetter pleaded guilty to all three counts of aggravated assault during a change of plea hearing on Friday (18 August). Each count carries a maximum penalty of 15 years. As part of a plea deal, the state agreed to ask for no more than 30 years, USA Today reported.

Ledbetter had attacked his 39-year-old former partner with scissors during an argument. According to police spokesman Sam Clemens, Ledbetter and his ex-girlfriend were arguing about their relationship on 11 October 2016 when Ledbetter slammed her head on the ground. He then went inside the house and grabbed a pair of scissors and cut off her nipples, Clemens told USA Today.

The victim managed to run free and ran outside to get some help. Meanwhile, Ledbetter called emergency services and the victim was taken to the hospital.

According to Crime Online website, the victim was pregnant at the time with Ledbetter's child.

"Domestic violence is something we see daily, maybe not quite to this extent but we have a lot of variety. It cuts across all demographics, this is something we see across all groups," Clemens was quoted as saying.

The sentencing will take place on 28 November.