WHEATON, Minn. - A 42-year-old man from west-central Minnesota could receive more than ten years in prison after a jury found him guilty of assaulting his girlfriend.
Brian Andvik spent two years in prison for assaulting his ex-wife in Stearns County. The jury in Traverse County ruled him a repeat offender and danger to public safety.
His latest victim feels the details of the abuse she endured are important for others to hear.
"I don't want my daughter to ever go through this. Ever. Or her friends. Or my friends' friends. My nieces. Anybody," Sagissor said.
When Dani met Andvik, she knew of his prior convictions. But he charmed her.
"He just sold me on the fact that it wasn't as bad as it was," she said.
And he made her feel special, she said, before he started breaking her down -- mentally, then physically. That led Dani to live the paradox of so many other battered women before her, a feeling she is unable to leave, despite the pleadings of family and friends.
"You feel like you have nothing. You don’t control your own thoughts. You don’t control what you say. You don’t control what you do or who you do things with. And you don’t even know it’s happening," Sagissor said. "You lose your sense of self. You lose your family. Your friends leave because they see how you’re hurting and they can’t do anything to get you out because you don’t want to hear it."
Andvik would promise never to hit her again, then attempt to make up for it with a random act of kindness, Sagissor said.
"I held onto that, thinking one day he’s going to realize what he’s got. And obviously, that day just never happened," she said.
Toward the end of the relationship, Sagissor said she endured three beatings in one week.
"He lunged at me and launched me across the garage, by the bottom of my chin," Dani Sagissor said. "He slammed my head on the ground by grabbing my hair 20 to 30 times. I couldn't breathe, he was choking me. He was just squeezing so hard. And I remember the look in his eyes. He was gritting his teeth. I thought I was going to die."
Forced to go to the hospital with a concussion and bruises and cuts throughout her body, Dani finally told someone what Andvik was putting her through.
And through Dani's testimony, photos, witnesses and conversations she recorded, a Traverse County jury convicted Andvik of several counts of assault, plus ruled he's a danger to public safety.
Dani's speaking now to reach others afraid to do so.
"It's a horrible rollercoaster that I don't want anyone to go through. And I know there are women watching this who understand what I'm talking about. And they need to listen to their friends. They need to listen to their family and they need to get out. They need to leave," Sagissor said.
Andvik was sentenced to 10 years in prison on June 13.