A California judge felt the stigma surrounding a man who was accused of his own sister’s rape was “sufficient” punishment for the suspect and ultimately sentenced him to just 240 days in jail for the incestuous act.
Writers for Oxygen‘s Crime Time explain that 20-year-old Nolan Bruder of Crescent City pleaded guilty earlier this month to supplying his unnamed female sibling, 16, with large quantities of high-potency marijuana, commonly referred to as “dabs,” in order to lessen her resistance of Bruder’s sexual advances.
“She [eventually] reached the point of no longer recognizing him as her brother,” court documents say about the girl’s marijuana intake on that day.
In her inebriated state, the California man was apparently able to convince the rape victim to willingly undress for him; a move that Judge William H. Follett, brought up in his ruling as a form of consent between Bruder’s sister and the accused rapist, the girl’s brother.
“The judge noted the victim took her own clothes off and was not unconscious,” The Independent further details.
“He also questioned whether there was sufficient evidence on which a jury could convict [Bruder], despite him having given a videotaped confession,” the report goes on to say.
Following closing arguments, the Crescent City man was sentenced by Judge Follett to three years in prison, prior to the officiant surprising the court by shortening the rape term by more than three-fourths of that time, due to the “shame” he now feels for attacking his sister, according to The Independent.
“Judge Follett said he believed the stigma of the rape conviction, along with being listed on the sex offenders’ register, was enough of a deterrent to deter the man and others in the community.”
“[I] could not disagree more with this decision,” Del Norte District Attorney Dale P. Trigg, relayed about the outcome to KRCR-TV, a sister network of ABC.
“The message that this sends to our community is that sexual predators who get their juvenile siblings stoned enough can have sex with them without any meaningful consequence. That is not the message I want to send to our community.”
Coincidentally, Trigg touched on the similarities of the verdict handed down by the judge to that of Brock Turner, the Stanford University student who was once accused of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster in January of 2015, as the New York Times provides.
Like Bruder, Turner’s June 2016 sentence was consequently shortened from an already-low six months to just half that time on “good behavior.”
“In a lot of ways, this case is more egregious than Brock Turner [because] this defendant took advantage of a position of trust as [the] victim’s big brother,” Trigg remarked.
“He knew she didn’t want to have sex with him [and] she told him that repeatedly, so he got her stoned on dabs he gave her until she didn’t even recognize him in order get what he wanted,” Trigg went on to say.
Just as with the Turner matter, counsel for the victim argued that Bruder should receive the maximum amount of time recommended by the state’s Probation Department in relation to rape — six years — and feared that a light sentence could promote a dangerous precedence for future rape victims.
“Under this interpretation of the law, a perpetrator at a college party who chooses to forcibly rape a conscious victim will go to prison,” Deputy District Attorney Annmarie Padilla specified to Judge Follett.
“However, a different perpetrator at the same party who chooses to watch and wait for a victim to pass out from intoxication before sexually assaulting her may get probation. [Regardless], both perpetrators seek prey that are vulnerable; disadvantaged by his/her capacity to resist.”
The California judge could not be reached for further comment on his sentence. Likewise, no word was given as to when the man who raped his sister would actually enter prison for his crime.
[Featured Image by Del Norte District Attorney’s Office]