Man gets 177 years for decade of rapes, attacks, explosion

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NORMAN, Okla.—A man with a long criminal background has pleaded guilty in Cleveland County District Court to various sexual assaults over a 15 year period in Norman.

Robert Howard Bruce, 51, confessed to a dozen sex crimes in the Norman area between 1985 and 2001.

Authorities said Bruce would drive to Norman to stalk women, break into their homes and then assault them.

Police said the victims were all single women who were returning from a night out.

Bruce would break or unscrew the porch light so they wouldn’t see him.

He often used chloroform, handcuffs and a stun gun to subdue the victims.

His DNA was eventually entered into a national database where investigators learned that he had also been convicted of a window peeping charge in Colorado.

He was sentenced to 177 years in prison on five counts of first-degree rape, 10 counts of first-degree burglary, three counts of sexual battery and one count of forcible sodomy for the attacks in Norman.

However, Bruce has a long criminal history concerning this type of criminal behavior.

He was sentenced to 156 years in a New Mexico prison for break-ins and attacks on nine women in that state.

He has also been convicted of two assaults on women in Colorado.

He was also sentenced to 64 years in prison for trying to kill a Colorado police officer by blowing up his home.

Authorities said that officer was going to submit Bruce’s DNA to the national database and this was his attempt at stopping him.

Bruce is also a suspect in sexual assaults against women in Austin and Lubbock.

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