While Attorney General Jeff Sessions is screaming for maximum sentencing for those who commit minor, non-violent drug crimes which could leave individuals sitting in jails for several years, others are getting away with low term penalties for rape. According to KRCR Channel 7 News, 20-year old Nolan Bruder is facing a term of only three years in jail for rape. What makes the story more disturbing is that Bruder didn’t just rape any individual, but his 16-year old sister. And Del Norte District Attorney Dale P. Trigg is saying he “could not disagree more with” the verdict of this case.
In many of the rape cases we have seen, the defendant generally is in denial that they committed a crime or forced themselves on the victim. However, Bruder was up front with his deed and plead guilty earlier this month in a video-taped confession. According to the news source, Bruder “gave his 16-year old sister high potency marijuana also known as “dabs” to smoke after she repeatedly resisted his sexual advances.” So, it would appear Bruder wasn’t content with the fact that his sister didn’t want any part of any sexual interaction with her brother so he decided to manipulate her into it. Once she smoked the marijuana, “she reached the point of no longer recognizing him as her brother.”
While marijuana is increasingly becoming legal in many states, it is important to understand that different strains of cannabis can have different effects on the brain, especially a 16-year old. So, did the courts take this into consideration? Did they take into account that Bruder was only 20 years old which doesn’t even place him at the legal age to consume alcohol let alone have marijuana in his possession or distribute it to his younger sibling?
And here’s where things become a little more concerning.
Apparently, Judge Follett, who was the judge assigned to the case, questioned whether there was enough evidence because:
- The victim took her own clothes off.
- The victim was not unconscious.
- Bruder admitted to the crime on video-tape. (This alone should have served as all the evidence the courts needed.)
Basically, what he is saying is that because she was conscious and physically took her own clothes off there may be some part of her that wanted to engage in sexual activity. More than likely this isn’t the case but that is where the credibility of the justice system comes into question. Follett also pushed for probation which technically should not have been granted because cases after that of the one involving Brock Turner now are ineligible. But, just as some judges do, Follett found a loophole, so he awarded Bruder probation and he was able to skip out of having to sit in prison for the six years he really should have been sentenced with.
Either the family was able to hire an outstanding California criminal defense attorney or the judge was looking out for this 20-year old who committed a crime that could leave his sister suffering with the aftermath many rape victims are faced with after being sexually assaulted.
This crime, like many others, are a shear indication that more needs to be done to convict those who violate others’ rights, especially in a sexual manner.