GALVESTON, Texas – A North Dakota man has been sentenced to prison after he was convicted of assault for trying to strangle his girlfriend while on a cruise ship off the coast of Galveston.
Hector Fernando Blanco pleaded guilty to the charge on Jan 17 and on Tuesday was sentenced to three years in prison followed by two years of supervised release, according to a news release.
Officials said the 41-year-old man and the woman he had been dating were on a cruise ship 45 miles from Galveston when the assault happened.
Blanco admitted to police he tried to strangle and suffocate his girlfriend by putting his hand and a bath towel over her mouth before twisting it around her neck and dragging her on the floor of the cabin, the release said.
According to the release, Blanco tripped and his girlfriend was able to escape the cabin and alert security personnel on the ship.
“No excuse can justify Hector Blanco’s violent actions that turned a dream vacation into a dreadful nightmare for his victim,” said Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner of the FBI.
Blanco was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined soon.