RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – A Black Hawk man who authorities say took his ex-girlfriend to a remote area and pointed a gun at her head while she was on her knees has been sentenced to serve 12 years in prison.

Thirty-eight-year-old James Higgins was accused of assaulting the woman on April 22, 2018, taking her by force from a bar, into the rural area, then to his house where he further physically assaulted her.

Prosecutor Adam Shiffermiller says the victim “believed she was going to die on multiple occasions.”

Defense attorneys argued the woman’s story was inconsistent, and that at the time of the incident Higgins hadn’t been taking medication for PTSD and a bipolar disorder.

Higgins recently pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, and prosecutors dropped a kidnapping count.

AP-WF-01-22-19 1150GMT

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