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Assault suspect given choice: Jail or be pepper-sprayed by victim

In this 2005 file photo, Judge Michael Cicconetti talks about the unusual sentences he has given to criminals in Painesville, Ohio. Cicconetti has gained a lot of notoriety over the years by giving defendants some unusual sentences, like sharing a sty with a pig or leading a donkey through town.

AP Photo/Tony Dejak

PAINESVILLE, Ohio -- An assault suspect who pepper-sprayed someone in the face has received similar treatment in court as punishment from a Cleveland-area judge embracing the principle of "an eye for an eye."

Painesville Municipal Court Judge Michael Cicconetti said 20-year-old Diamond Gaston could serve 30 days in jail or be pepper-sprayed by her victim, and she chose that Thursday. Cicconetti says he couldn't really allow pepper spray, so harmless saline spray was substituted without Gaston knowing.

Gaston says she learned her lesson.

Cicconetti says such unusual sentences are meant to prevent people from ending up back in court.

Also Thursday, CBS affiliate WOIO reported that a woman who failed to pay a cab driver was given a choice by Cicconetti between jail time or paying restitution and walking 30 miles, the distance of her ride. Victoria Bascom chose to walk.

She was also sentenced to four months probation and ordered to pay United Cab $100 in restitution.