High court upholds lengthy prison sentenceBy Brent Curtis
STAFF WRITER | November 15,2012A man sentenced to serve up to 85 years in prison for raping a Rutland woman lost an appeal to have the length of his sentence reduced.
In a two-page ruling, the Vermont Supreme Court held that the 45- to 85-year sentence Joseph Bruyette received in 1990 on a felony count of burglary and three felony counts of sexual assault didn’t constitute an illegal piling on of offenses.
A dogged jailhouse lawyer, Bruyette, 45, has filed many unsuccessful appeals and motions in state courts seeking to overturn his convictions.
Earlier this year, Bruyette argued that the sentences for burglary and sexual assault he received were illegal because they amounted to double jeopardy — the prohibited practice of punishing a person twice for the same crime.
When that motion was denied by a lower court, Bruyette appealed to the Supreme Court, which decided this month to uphold his sentence.
In their ruling, reached by a three-judge panel, the justices found that the sentence Bruyette received for the burglary portion of his crime was not a superfluous charge because the essential elements of the charge were different from the sexual assault counts.
“The offenses each contain unique elements and there was no double jeopardy bar to convicting defendant of both offenses,” the justices wrote in the ruling.
A jury found Bruyette guilty of breaking into a 23-year-old woman’s apartment on Hopkins Street in Rutland in April 1987. He bound and gagged the woman and then repeatedly raped her, according to court records. He also took her outside, tying her to a tree and continuing the assault.
Bruyette was arrested a week later when his girlfriend told police she believed he was the person who committed the assault. She told police Bruyette asked her to cut off his beard in the days after the assault.
Bruyette’s girlfriend also talked about the “offbeat” sexual relations she had with him which police said were similar to what he did to the victim.
firstname.lastname@example.orgMORE IN Local & StateBRANDON — Brandon residents and visitors will use the power of music and rhythm Saturday as... Full StoryCASTLETON — Voters will again get the chance to decide the future location of the police department. Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.