Missouri man gets 20 years in rape, branding case

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NIANGUA, Mo. (AP) _ A southwest Missouri man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the beating, branding and rape of a woman.

The Springfield News-Leader reports 21-year-old David Lowery was sentenced this week. He pleaded guilty in August to forcible rape and first-degree assault causing serious physical injury.

Authorities in July charged Lowery, another man and two women in connection to the May attack. Two of the co-defendants have also pleaded guilty and the fourth has a plea hearing scheduled this month.

Authorities say the group beat the victim and held her down while Lowery raped her. They say she was then branded on the leg with a wire clothes hanger. Prosecutors say she is between 17 and 25 years old.