Twenty-year-old Brian Varela has been sentenced to just two years and 10 months in prison for raping a teenager who was busy dying of a drug overdose.
As reported by KIRO 7, Superior Court Judge Linda Krese said on Thursday that the less than three-year sentence she has given him is the most she is allowed to give someone with no prior record.
Varela pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter, third-degree rape, and unlawful disposal of remains as part of a plea deal. The incident in question occurred in February, when 18-year-old high school student Alyssa Noceda attended a house party at Varela’s home in Lynnwood, Washington.
According to Varela, Noceda “snorted Percocet and also ingested liquid marijuana.” Post mortem blood tests showed that the teen had taken a fatal mix of fentanyl and alprazolam, a generic name for Xanax. Varela said she collapsed within two minutes of taking the mixture, but never called 911 or any other emergency services to help her. Instead, he proceeded to send semi-nude photos of her to his friends, along with the message “LOL, I think she od’d, still breathing.”
He continued to play video games until he fell asleep, and woke up the next morning to find Noceda cold and with blue lips, per court documents.
Brian Varela sentenced for rape, manslaughter of Alyssa Noceda. He sent photos and joking texts to friends as she overdosed. She was 18. He'll serve less than 3 years. https://t.co/C1pa1bMo9Q pic.twitter.com/1IT0humX9X— Caleb Hutton (@snocaleb) November 16, 2018
Again, instead of calling emergency services, he went off to work at Dairy Queen, where he later told a co-worker that he wasn’t sure if the teen had still been alive while he was having sex with her. That co-worker decided to call the police, who obtained a search warrant for Varela’s home. They found Noceda’s body in a plastic crate in the house, and Varela admitted he had planned to bury her with onions to cover the smell of decay.
In order to cover his tracks, he had also unlocked her phone with her thumb after she had died, and sent messages that made it appear as though she had run away.
Varela on Thursday apologized for his thoughtless actions in court.
“I’m sorry for my foolish actions. Whatever I get is what I deserve,” he said.
Judge Krese said she was “surprised, even outraged,” by the light sentence she was forced to hand down, suggesting that “state lawmakers may not have realized the impact of their decision when they set prison sentences for the charges.”
“I’m not sure the Legislature really contemplated something like this,” Krese said.
Noceda’s mother and aunt were devastated when they learned how light the sentence on Varela would be.
“You might as well let him walk free with that kind of time,” Noceda’s aunt, Rachelle Palmer, said.