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After years of abusing his wife, Ulner was finally arrested. At trial, Ulner's behavior shocked the prosecutor, Lisa Bloch Rodwin. "I've never seen such arrogance," she says. "He was making eye contact with the female jurors and trying to look like he was king of the world and that he could control them the way he controlled everybody else. … When he was interviewed by the probation department, he blamed Susan for putting him in this position. But the judge said to him, 'You still don't get it. You have destroyed these children. You have destroyed this woman.'"

In her closing arguments, Lisa played the videotape for the jury one more time. "What I said to the jury is, 'He keeps saying, I have to teach you.' And I asked the jury to teach him."

They did, finding Ulner guilty of 12 counts of assault and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The judge sentenced him to 36 years in prison—reportedly the longest sentence ever given for this kind of domestic violence. He's not eligible for parole until 2022.

Lisa emphasizes that while the 51-minute videotape put a horrific face on the abuse, it was not the most important piece of evidence in the case. "That videotape shows a misdemeanor assault punishable by up to only one year in jail," she says. "You don't need a videotape. You need to document your injuries."

Ulner got such a stiff sentence, she says, because of the numerous times—not recorded on any tape—he beat Susan with items like books and belts. "Those dangerous instruments make it a felony," Lisa says.

Susan didn't keep records of her abuse…but Lynne, her vigilant boss, did.
FROM: A Suburban Mother's Nightmare Captured on Tape
Published on January 01, 2006