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A 30-year-old Sweet Home man was sentenced Friday morning to nearly six years in jail for second-degree assault/domestic violence by Linn County Circuit Court Judge Fay Stetz-Waters.

According to prosecutor Ryan Lucke, Lanz assaulted and used a belt to strangle his girlfriend between Feb. 2 and 3.

Lucke said that the victim and Lanz had been in a relationship since October. He said that sometime on Feb. 2 she tried to get into the home they shared, but found it locked.

Lucke said she contacted Lanz to help her get into the home, and when he arrived he was agitated and accosted her, asking about where she had been. The incident reportedly escalated into Lanz physically assaulting her and at some point wrapping a belt around her neck and dragging her down a hallway.

The victim claimed that Lanz later made her get into a car and they went to the Brownsville area, where he held her head under water at the Calapooia River. She said she suffered facial scratches from the rocks in the river.

The victim said she was then pushed back into the vehicle and driven back to their shared home, where the assault allegedly continued. She said she was given some type of drug and passed out for a time. When she came to, she reportedly escaped and went to her aunt’s home, where the incidents were reported to law enforcement.

When Judge Stetz-Waters asked Lanz if he had any comments, he said he’s a “big guy” and he could have done a lot of damage “to a 115-pound chick”

“I only picked her up by the belt to put fear into her. I didn’t take her to the river. I’m guilty of assault. It is what it is,” Lanz said.

Lanz was represented by Heidi Sternhagen, who said her client disputes some of the charges made by the victim, but agreed to the plea sentencing of 70 months incarceration plus three years supervision after his release.

The court will also hold open possible claims for further damages for 90 days.

Lanz has a long history of charges in Linn County Circuit Court dating back to 2005, including prior charges of assault, strangulation, domestic violence and drug possession.

Charges of strangulation and first-degree kidnapping were dropped.

Contact Linn County reporter Alex Paul at 541-812-6114.

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