PORTLAND — A South Carolina man charged with driving a woman from that state to Lewiston in 2019,  while repeatedly beating and threatening her in a manner prosecutors called “sadistic stuff,” was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison.

Dustin Beach Courtesy Androscoggin County Jail

Dustin Beach, 27, of Green Pond, South Carolina appeared in U.S. District Court by videoconference from jail.

U.S. District Court Judge George Z. Singal ordered Beach to serve 10 years on a federal interstate stalking charge to which he pleaded guilty last year. Five other related charges, including kidnapping, will be dismissed.

Federal investigators said at the time of his arrest in Maine in July 2019, Beach was facing similar charges in South Carolina, as well as drug and gun charges involving his girlfriend. He reportedly assaulted her with a bull whip, a stick, a shotgun and a pistol over two days. She said he had taken her cellphone to prevent her from seeking help, investigators said in court papers.

After his release from jail in South Carolina from that arrest, Beach cut off a GPS tracking monitor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Conley said Thursday.

In the Maine case, investigators said Beach offered a woman a ride to Walmart in South Carolina, forced her to stay in his pickup truck and told her he couldn’t release her because he was wanted.

She told investigators he smashed her cellphone during the trip to Maine. She also told them he held her face under water until she passed out. He hit her at times with a cane, a hammer, the center console of his truck and his fists, feet and elbow. She said she repeatedly pleaded to be released, but Beach refused and threatened to kill her children and her.

On July 25, 2019, at about 2:30 a.m., following up on a call from emergency dispatchers of a woman who’d been hit with a hammer, Lewiston police found the woman sitting in the lobby of a motel on Lisbon Street wearing large, dark sunglasses. They could see bruises on her throat and chest. She asked police if they could take her from the motel before her assailant returned, according to police.

Beach told police he had asked the woman if she wanted to go to Maine and she accepted his invitation to take her.

Evidence found in Beach’s truck included items the woman told police they would find, including her smashed cellphone, a black-handled hammer, a cane and a shirt she said she had worn that was stained with her blood, police said.

Medical records showed the woman suffered bruises on her face, head, neck, arms and legs.

He dragged a pin up and down her legs, cutting her, Conley said.

“No human being should have to endure this,” Conley said. “This is sadistic stuff.”

The woman continues to suffer from nightmares, anxiety and depression and is scared to leave her house, Conley said.

Beach has a long history of criminal conduct, including violent acts, Conley said.

Since his 2019 arrest, Beach has been learning about and addressing his substance addiction and mental health problems, his attorney, David Beneman, said Thursday.

According to a sentencing memorandum written by Beneman, Beach has a long history of substance abuse dating back to when he was 8 years old. By age 10, he was drinking alcohol; by age 11, he was using marijuana daily. He dropped out of school after the sixth grade.

He had been addicted to crack cocaine and methamphetamine, Beneman wrote.

Since September 2019, Beach has been enrolled in recovery programs at Cumberland County Jail where he “reconnected with religion, getting baptized on April 4, 2021,” Beneman wrote. “He completed the Religious Programs Certification on June 7, 2021.”

Speaking with a probation officer last year, Beach is quoted as saying: “I’m very remorseful. I’ve started going to church again. I’m very upset with myself, and I cannot start to tell you how remorseful I am. I’m thankful to be alive. I wish it didn’t happen this way, but I’m thankful for my sobriety. It has changed me for the better. I will sacrifice this time to get better and be a better person, I’m OK with that. I was so far gone in my drug addiction I wasn’t really a person anyway.”

He repeated that sentiment at Thursday’s hearing, apologizing to his family for his behavior.

“I wasn’t raised this way,” he said.

After his release from prison, Beach will be on supervised release for three years, during which he must continue with substance abuse and mental health treatment, Judge George Z. Singal said.

Beach may have no contact with the victim.

“He is a danger to society,” Singal said as he imposed Beach’s sentence.

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