Susan Mwarabu apologized profusely and repeatedly Thursday before she was sentenced in Ramsey County District Court for biting off -- and apparently swallowing -- part of a man's ear.

"I've disappointed myself, my family and hundreds of students," said Mwarabu, who lost her teaching job at Northfield Middle School after she was charged in the incident. It happened March 14 at the Uptowner Cafe in St. Paul.

Mwarabu, 31, of Rochester, pleaded guilty April 5 to felony third-degree assault. She did not know her victim, Christopher Hough, 33, before the incident. "What Susan Mwarabu did to me on March 14 will never make sense," Hough told the court Thursday.

District Judge Rosanne Nathanson gave Mwarabu a stay of imposition sentence and up to five years on probation. She was ordered to serve 60 days, but can do so on home monitoring or other programming if she is eligible.

If she complies with probation's conditions, the conviction eventually will become a gross misdemeanor.

Nathanson gave Mwarabu until Sept. 2 to turn herself in after her attorneys requested she be able to visit her ill mother in Kenya before she reports to the workhouse.

Pat Pheifer • 612-741-4992