Rolla man found guilty of rape after holding a woman hostage

1 year 7 months 4 days ago October 22, 2015 Oct 22, 2015 Thursday, October 22 2015 Thursday, October 22, 2015 4:21:00 PM CDT in News
By: Jenna Middaugh, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

PHELPS COUNTY – A Phelps County jury found a  Rolla man guilty of rape and other charges, prosecutors said.

37-year-old Jason Bruce was convicted of first-degree rape, two counts of first-degree sodomy, first-degree burglary and felonious restraint, said Linda Morris, from the Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Morris said Bruce broke into a Rolla home on June 7, 2014, and took the woman inside hostage.

Morris said Bruce threatened the woman’s life if she made a noise, then tied her up and raped her.

After several hours, the woman convinced Bruce she wouldn’t tell anyone, so he left, Morris said.

She said Bruce initially told investigators he didn’t know the female victim, but eventually admitted he did. Bruce told investigators he had been at the victim’s house before the rape but said he wasn’t at her house the night she said she was raped.

An expert from the DNA Diagnostic Center in Fairfield, Ohio, found Bruce’s DNA on the victim and the victim’s DNA in Bruce’s boxer shorts, which Morris said proved Bruce was lying about not being at the victim’s house the night she was raped.

Prosecuting Attorney Brendon Fox said the jury deliberated for an hour before reaching a verdict.

Fox also said Bruce had a prior rape conviction in Florida in 1998 with very similar facts. Fox said Bruce served 186  months in prison for that case.

“He had been out of prison for a little over a year before committing this new rape,” Fox said.

Bruce could face between 10 to 30 years or life in prison for each rape and sodomy count. He could also face 5 to 15 years for the burglary charge and up to seven years for the felonious restraint charge.

Bruce’s sentencing is set for Dec. 10 at 9 a.m.

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