When St. Paul police arrived at the 22-year-old woman's apartment in mid-July, they found her face and body covered with bruises, welts and puncture marks.

She described a brutal assault by her boyfriend, Demetrius Colvin, that lasted almost two hours, according to court documents.

Colvin, 21, of St. Paul was charged with seven felony counts of second- and third-degree assault, domestic assault by strangulation, false imprisonment and terroristic threats.

He pleaded guilty Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court to one count of second-degree assault. The plea agreement calls for him to serve a year in the workhouse. He will be sentenced on Oct. 22 by District Judge Margaret (Peg) Marrinan.

"I certainly would have liked to have seen more severe consequences for this defendant," said Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner. "It was an extremely violent assault; however, the victim recanted her statement to police. In fact, she provided a written recantation to the defendant's attorney."

Gaertner said sentencing guidelines call for a 27-month sentence. Colvin agreed to have a 54-month sentence hanging over his head if he violates probation after he is released from the workhouse.

"It's an incentive to behave," Gaertner said.

'He didn't do all that stuff'

Colvin's girlfriend and the mother of his year-old son said Tuesday that the assault didn't happen the way she told police.

"He didn't do all that stuff," D'Metra Tate said. "He didn't set my hair on fire. He didn't strangle me with no belt. He didn't beat me for no hours and hours.

"He broke my arm and my nose," she said. "He made me get 30 stitches on my back. It was a regular fight to me."

According to the charges, Tate called 911 at 10:50 a.m. July 15 and whispered to the dispatcher that she needed police and medics. The abuse she told police about then, and later at the hospital, reads like torture.

The complaint said Tate told police that Colvin had punched and kicked her; beaten her with a metal closet rod; strangled her with a belt until she lost consciousness; beat her with the belt buckle; threatened her with a butcher knife and cut off her hair with it; poured a flammable liquid on her head and tried to set her on fire, and urinated on her.

Now, Tate says, "I lied to them [police]."

Why? "My mom wanted me to. My mom didn't like him."

Safety concerns?

Danielle Kluz, coordinator of the Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Service Center, said she doesn't know Tate and can't comment about her motivations for recanting her tale of abuse.

"But what's often seen in a domestic abuse situation is he has so much power and control that she's afraid for her life," Kluz said.

"Not only is she afraid for her life, but she gets into a place where she's afraid for his life. He has made himself to be the center of her world. She's in a place where she can't imagine a life without him at this point."

Tate says she wants to be with Colvin but can't until the judge lifts a no-contact order. "That's my son's dad," she said. "He's going to be in my life until my son is 18 years old. I love him. And he loves me."

She says she isn't worried about her safety.

"I know he ain't going to do it again," she said. "Don't be concerned about me. Don't worry about me."

Pat Pheifer • 651-298-1551