• KYW News 4:30-7am
    04:00 AM - 07:00 AM

By Tony Hanson, Walt Hunter

PHILADELPHIA, PA (CBS) —  Hugs were waiting for 24-year-old Ashley Hackett outside the Criminal Justice Center where, moments earlier, the predator who slashed her face with a 10-inch knife on November 11, 2012, Cory Harley, received a 15 to 30 years sentence after pleading guilty to attempted murder and other charges.

“I’m satisfied he’ll be off the street for a long time, that’s what matters,” the victim told reporters.

Ashley says it was the hugs and love from her family and friends that gave her strength to recover from the terrible wound that required more than 100 stitches and came very close to ending her life.

In November of last year Hackett was slashed and robbed near 9th and Bainbridge in South Philadelphia, receiving 100 stitches to her face (see related story).

Harley, 31, pleaded guilty today to the attack on Hackett as part of a plea deal.

According to the prosecutor, the defendant slashed her throat, took her purse, and left her there bleeding on the street at four o’clock in the morning.

Police credit Ashley with courageously coming forward in the days after the attack, helping police launch a manhunt that led to Harley being charged with stalking her as she returned home, then viciously ambushing and robbing her.

“It was because of her strength and her family’s involvement that we were able to solve this crime,” said prosecutor Nadine Stevenson.

Ashley’s mother adding, “Words can’t express how proud we are of her. She has so much courage.”

But before leaving the courthouse with her family to move on with her life, Ashley, in a letter read in court, made it clear the attack forever changed her life.

That letter read in part: “Will I always be looking over my shoulder or jump every time I turn a corner? I will always battle sadness when I look in the mirror.”

Ashley still faces additional surgery for her wound. Harley, asked repeatedly by the judge if he would apologize, refused.

But prosecutors say if he was trying to hurt his victim, it backfired. The judge ordering that the State Parole Board be notified of his total lack of remorse.

If he ever does try to be released early, it will be used against him, in an attempt to keep him behind bars.

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