A district attorney says that he "could not disagree more" with a judge's decision to give a light sentence to a 20-year-old man who attacked his 16-year-old sister.
According to KRCR, 20-year-old Nolan Bruder pleaded guilty to giving his 16-year-old sister high-potency marijuana, known as "dabs," in order to have sex with her after she had repeatedly resisted his sexual advances. He had her continue to smoke until she no longer recognized him as her brother.
Judge William H. Follett went against Del Norte District Attorney Dale P. Trigg's recommendation, sentencing Bruder to just three years in jail and suspending all but 240 days of the sentence. Bruder was given probation as well.
Judge Follett said that he believes that the "stigma" of the conviction, as well as mandatory sex offender registration requirements, will sufficiently deter Bruder and others in the community from committing similar offenses.
Trigg disagreed, however.
"I could not disagree more," Trigg said. "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 our community."
During the sentencing, Trigg says that the judge noted that the victim was not unconscious and took her own clothing off. Judge Follett also questioned whether or not there was sufficient evidence for a jury to convict Bruder, despite there being a video in which Bruder confesses to the crime during questioning.
At the sentencing hearing, Deputy District Attorney Annamarie Padilla told Judge Follett that he should follow the Probation Department's recommendation of sending Bruder to state prison for six years.
According to Blue Lives Matter, the crime took place prior to Brock Turner's case. Turner, a Stanford University student, faced just three months in jail after he sexually assaulted an unconscious woman. Following Turner's case, the state of California changed the law to make such crimes ineligible for probation. Because Bruder's crime took place before the Turner ruling, the new law does not apply to his case.
Trigg said that he feels that Bruder's case is worse than Turner's because the 20-year-old took advantage of "a position of trust as the victim's big brother."
"He knew she didn't want to have sex with him," Trigg said. "She told him that repeatedly. So he got her stoned on dabs he gave her until she didn't even recognize him in order to get what he wanted."