PHOENIX — The Arizona Supreme Court said juries must decide on a
case-by-case basis whether a wounded crime victim’s disfigurement is substantial
enough to justify convicting the attacker of felony aggravated assault.
The high court issued a unanimous ruling Monday in an appeal in a Pima County
case in which a man cut a woman with a knife.
The ruling said juries needed to consider the injury’s seriousness, location,
duration and visibility to others.
The justices agreed that both a 3-inch cut on a victim’s hand and a
2-centimeter-wide puncture wound of her abdomen were substantial enough to be
The Court of Appeals had said the victim’s abdomen wound was small and not a
substantial disfigurement. The midlevel court would have reduced a felony
aggravated assault charge to misdemeanor assault.