Louie Lucero, accused of torturing women, insists relationships were consensual

This arrives a little late for Valentine's Day, but Louie Lucero has an unusual approach to romance that's bound to send any female into orbit -- and probably to the hospital.

The southwest Colorado man, who has a history of domestic violence cases and is currently on trial for assault and false imprisonment charges involving three women over a dozen years, is claiming it's all a big misunderstanding -- because Louie the Love Bug practices consensual abuse.

In attempting to establish a pattern of domestic violence by Lucero, prosecutors are presenting claims dating back to 2000 (some past the statute of limitations) to establish that Lucero has made a habit of beating, strangling, abusing and otherwise humiliating women. According to this account of opening statements in the Durango Herald, two of his partners ended up with broken arms. Two were branded with a hot iron, though at least one allegedly agreed to the procedure. One got motor oil poured on her.

"This case is about relationships that are hard for a lot of us to understand," public defender Katie Telfer told the jury. She argued that methamphetamine fueled some of the consensual weirdness and that none of the victims felt compelled to report Lucero to the police.

Lucero's defense, if successful, could set domestic violence victims back a few centuries. But he may have a hard time selling broken limbs to a jury, and an even harder time convincing them that a dog owned by one of the women also agreed to be abused. He's facing animal-cruelty charges for allegedly keeping the dog chained up in freezing weather, dousing it in ice water and breaking its leg.

The trial could last up to three weeks, during which the details of Lucero's romantic adventures might possibly get the entire jury aroused. Just not sexually, if you know what I mean.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Charles Farrar: Appeal denied in sex-abuse case despite 'victim' recanting."

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