A young man is sentenced to only 4 months in prison after drugging & raping his sister.
Nolan Bruder, a 19-year-old from California, was smoking marijuana and dabs of hash oil (a very concentrated form of hash) in his room on July 11, 2016.
He pushed his 16-year-old sister to consume the drugs and also asked her to have sex with him. She refused several times, and he continued to insist until she was too impaired to resist. The Los Angeles Times reports that the victim told investigators:
“Eventually it got to the point where I couldn’t say ‘no’ anymore, like, I didn’t know how to, so I ended up having sex with him.”
News also reports that she said she probably did not have the capacity to resist and that on a scale of 1 to 10, her high was at a 9 and she no longer recognised him as a family member
“Responsibility placed on the victim rather than on the rapist” Nolan Bruder acknowledged what happened and pleaded guilty. In a report, his probation officer recommended a sentence of six years in prison, stating that while Bruder had a low to moderate risk of being a repeat offender, but still did not seem to take responsibility for his actions.
On May 17, the rapist was sentenced to 240 days in county jail and three years’ probation.
But according to reliable source, under California’s felony realignment law, Bruder will likely only serve half that time before being released – with none of it in a state prison.
Judge William Follett justified his decision by saying the victim was not unconscious and removed her clothes herself, implying she consented. He also said having to register as a sex offender and the “stigma” of the conviction would prevent Bruder from reoffending. In other words, the judge is placing responsibility on the victim and minimising the crime committed.
But the law didn’t go into effect until January 1, 2017, and Bruder’s rape was committed in July 2016. Judge Follett was therefore not required to implement the minimum sentence in this case. However, the district attorney told media he was shocked by the lenient sentence:
“This defendant took advantage of a position of trust as this victim’s [family member]. What message does this send to would-be offenders in the future?”
He then asked the judge to apply the new law, emphasizing that “these judges need to start thinking about the victims.”
As for the victim herself, she wrote a letter to judge Follett asking him to be understanding…with her brother.
She recognized that what he did was wrong, but she didn’t think he would do it again. In parallel, their parents, grandparents, Bruder’s girlfriend and friends wrote to the judge in Bruder’s defense, listing all his good qualities.
Was his sister pressured by family and friends to minimise the crime committed against her? Several letters suggested she had been a willing participant in the rape, rather presenting her as a victim.
If I hadn’t known better I would have said that law has become corrupt however, this is really a case of the judge exhibiting bias, and it is very clear and very obvious.
“Until women start using the power we have at the ballot to elect judges who take sex crimes seriously, this will keep happening. We are sending a message: Enough is enough. Women are fed up with this kind of thing.”