Featured Image Credit: TLC/Knox County Sheriff's Office
A 90 Day Fiancé star has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for the kidnap and assault of his former partner.
Geoffrey Paschel, who appeared on season four of 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days, was convicted last year of the attack on his ex-fiancée, with a judge in Knox County, Tennessee today handing down the lengthy prison sentence without possibility of parole.
In a statement following the sentencing hearing, Tennessee District Attorney Charme Allen said the judge's decision meant 'no other victims will be abused by this offender for a long time.'
Paschel was convicted of aggravated kidnapping, domestic assault, and interference with emergency calls, after a court heard how he had assaulted his then fiancée and refused to let her leave her home.
Allen said that Paschel's previous drug trafficking convictions played a part in the tough sentence.
The incident, which occurred in June 2019, saw officers called to reports of a domestic disturbance in the Rocky Hill neighbourhood of Knoxville, TN, where Paschel's then-partner said he had assaulted her, taken her phone and refused to let her leave the house.
'Paschel grabbed the victim by the neck and slammed her head against the wall several times. She was also thrown to the ground and dragged. Paschel took the victim's cell phone and did not allow her to leave the residence,' the DA earlier said in a statement.
According to PEOPLE magazine, the victim was only able to escape to a friend's house once Paschel fell asleep, with officers noting she had bruises on her head, arms and back as well as later being diagnosed with a concussion. Paschel had attempted to claim to the jury that his former partner's injuries had been self-inflicted.
The allegations led fans of the 90 Day Fiancé franchise to call for Paschel to be removed from the show, with episodes featuring the 44-year-old airing in February 2020.
More than 5,000 people signed a petition asking TLC to cut scenes involving Paschel from the fourth season of the show, however no action was taken.
Varya Malina - whose relationship with Paschel was documented on the show - has continued to stand by him through the trial and subsequent conviction, writing on Instagram 'To be honest we didn’t expect much from this sentencing. 18 years? Alright, we passed the bottom, that means there’s only one way up!'
If you are experiencing domestic violence, please know that you are not alone. You can talk in confidence 24 hours a day to the national domestic violence helpline Refuge on 0808 2000 24