(KRQE) Albuquerque, N.M. - Robert Bruce admitted in a Colorado courtroom Wednesday that he is in fact the rapist known as "Ether Man"
Bruce pleaded guilty to an attempted rape in Colorado in July 2006 in which he broke into a woman's home, placed a chemically soaked rag over her mouth then raped her. As part of the agreement Bruce agreed to help federal authorities close the "Ether Man" cases in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado and other states.
Bruce is charged with 11 rapes in Albuquerque the first of which was committed in 1991 in the UNM area. He's also charged with an attack of a 12th woman who was able to get away. Texas authorities have charged Bruce with one rape in the Austin area and authorities in Oklahoma have named Bruce as a suspect in at least one rape there.
As part of Wednesday's plea agreement Bruce will admit to any rapes he is connected to to in any state. Authorities say it could connect him to cases they did not have DNA to support.
Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg says Bruce is facing more than 100 years in prison if convicted of the rapes here. He is already serving a 64 year prison sentence for trying to murder a Colorado police officer who was set to testify against him in a peeping tom case.
"He understands that he is going to spend the rest of his life in prison." says Brandenburg
While she says they had a strong case against Bruce, wrapping up the case without multiple trials in multiple states is good for everyone involved.
"Knowing that he will be held accountable and not walk the streets again and they (the victims) are safe from him. I can't imagine what their years have been like, some are truly living in fear," says Brandenburg
If Bruce cooperates with authorities he will get his wish of serving his sentence in a federal prison instead of a state prison. If Bruce doesn't cooperate, he's looking at hundreds of years in prison at state prisons in many different states.
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