MAN WHO DRUGGED, RAPED TEEN SISTER GETS LESS THAN A YEAR OF JAIL TIME; JUDGE SAYS ‘STIGMA’ IS PUNISHMENT ENOUGH
A California judge sentenced a man who drugged and raped his 16-year-old sister to three years injail —with all but 240 days suspended —because he believed the “stigma” ofthe conviction was sufficient punishment. The confessed assailant will also serve three yearsprobation and pay a modest fine.
Judge William H. Follett reportedly handed down the light sentence on May 17. According to theCrescent City Times, Nolan Bruder, 20, admitted to giving his younger sister high-potency marijuana“dabs” — a highly concentrated, extremely potent dose of the cannabis drug— after she repeatedly turned down his sexual advances. Bruder then raped the victim aftershe became so high she didn’t recognize the then-19-year-old as her brother.
Though Del Norte Deputy District Attorney Annamarie Padilla recommended Bruder spend six yearsbehind bars for the Rape of an Intoxicated Person charge, Judge Follett pointed out that the victimwas conscious and took her own clothes off. He also suspected that prosecutors lacked the evidenceto land a conviction—despite them having a taped confession, the Crescent City Timesreported.
Judge Follett ultimately determined that Bruder’s lifelong sex offender status coupledwith the “stigma” attached to the rape conviction sent a message to the 20-year-old andthe community and would deter this type of behavior.
Del Norte District Attorney, Dale P. Trigg took issue with Judge Follett’s comments.
“I could not disagree more,” Trigg said in a statement obtained by KRC-TV.
“The message that this sends to our community is that sexual predators who get theirjuvenile siblings stoned enough can have sex with them without any meaningfulconsequence.”
Bruden’s case draws parallels to that of Brock Turner, the Stanford student who wassentenced to six months in jail for raping an unconscious woman. The state legislature passed a lawmaking these types of crimes ineligible for probation following the controversial ruling. However,Bruden was granted probation because his crimes preceded the new law.
“In a lot of ways, this case is more egregious than Brock Turner,” Trigg said.“This defendant took advantage of a position of trust as this victim’s big brother. Heknew she didn’t want to have sex with him. She told him that repeatedly. So he got her stonedon dabs he gave her until she didn’t even recognize him in order get what hewanted.”
While Judge Follett said the 18 letters of support for Bruder were influential, he insisted that“he is not getting off scot-free,” according to the Del Norte Triplicate.
In addition to the light jail sentence and probation, the Crescent City man was fined $2,420. Hewas taken into custody and transported to county jail.
Bruder faces three years in prison if he violates the terms of his probation, the Triplicatealso reported.Trigg concluded, “That is not the message I want to send to ourcommunity.” (California)
Message from Executive Director Laura A. Ahearn: Parents for Megan's Law and the Crime VictimsCenter provides prevention education, advocacy, counseling and other valuable support services tochild and adult victims of sexual assault and to all victims of violent crime. Please visit ourwebsite at www.parentsformeganslaw.org for news, information and resources in your community.