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A Lower Windsor Township man who police said punched his pregnant wife in the stomach and head so many times she threw up must serve prison time for the assault.

Troy Ames, 38, of Forge Hill Road, pleaded no contest Wednesday in York County Court to the misdemeanor charges of simple assault and making terroristic threats. As part of a negotiated plea agreement, felony charges of aggravated assault and aggravated assault on an unborn child were dismissed, court records state.

He was sentenced to 11½ to 23 months in York County Prison, with credit for time served, plus three years of probation, records state. He has been locked up since Sept. 26, according to prison records.

Ames must undergo mental-health and drug and alcohol evaluations and comply with any recommended counseling or treatment, and must attend a domestic-violence education program, senior deputy prosecutor Kelley Nelson said.

Also at the time of sentencing, a no-contact order was lifted that forbade him to contact his wife, records state.

Defense attorney Seamus Dubbs said Ames pleaded no contest because he couldn't remember what happened, due to his level of intoxication that night. Despite having no memory of the assault, Ames has accepted responsibility for it, the attorney said.

Still a couple: Ames and his wife — who remains pregnant — are still together, Nelson confirmed.

Nelson said there would have been problems prosecuting Ames relating to the victim's expected testimony.

"Some of the (initial) allegations she made ... differed from what she (more recently) indicated happened during the course of the assault," Nelson said.

Asked whether she believes the initial allegations were true, the prosecutor said what she believes doesn't matter.

"It's what I can prove," Nelson said.

She confirmed there are a variety of issues that can make prosecuting domestic-assault cases difficult, including that some victims don't want to see their abusers go to prison, while other victims are too terrified of their abusers to testify.

In this case, the victim indicated the incident was an unusual occurrence and that she didn't recognize the person who attacked her as the husband she knows, according to Nelson.

Police indicated Ames was intoxicated at the time of the assault.

The case: Lower Windsor Township police officers rushed to Ames' home about 3:40 a.m. Sept. 26 after a 911 call was made from there, court documents state. No one on the calling end spoke to 911, but a dispatcher could hear a woman in the background saying, "I'm begging you, I'll make it right," documents state.

The call then disconnected and dispatchers received voicemail when they called back, police said.

"The officers got there as quickly as they could and immediately put this man in handcuffs," township Police Chief Tim Caldwell said at the time. Ames was taken to the county's central booking unit for arraignment, then transported to prison.

The wife told officers she was asleep when Ames — who had been out drinking — came home and started beating her up, documents state.

He threatened to kill her and punched her in the stomach several times, police said.

When the wife began protecting her stomach, Ames started punching her in the head, court documents state. She told officers she was dizzy and had thrown up from being punched repeatedly, according to police.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com.

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