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Serial rapist sentenced to 177 years in Norman assault cases

A Colorado prison inmate was sentenced to 177 years in prison in Cleveland County District Court after he pleaded guilty to multiple assaults on women that occurred over a 15-year period.
by Jane Glenn Cannon Modified: May 1, 2013 at 7:42 pm •  Published: May 2, 2013
/articleid/3805224/1/pictures/2041096">Photo - Robert Howard Bruce <strong></strong>
Robert Howard Bruce

Altogether, Bruce confessed to raping eight women, also committing other sexual crimes against them, and breaking into six other residences with the intent to rape the women who lived there.

Bruce pleaded guilty to 18 charges Tuesday and no contest to a 19th sexual battery charge. District Judge Tracy Schumacher pronounced the sentences, which total enough years to keep him in prison for the remainder of his life.

In an interview in February 2012, Parks described how Bruce acted confident as he confessed to the series of sexual assaults in Norman.

“I wanted to keep him talking for days, because I wanted to know what went on inside his head. I wanted to know what made him tick. On the other hand, I just wanted to hit him up the side of the head,” Parks said.

Bruce confessed to using chloroform on one victim, a stun gun on another and nearly smothering one woman with a pillowcase. In most cases, he followed the women home after a night out.

Often their porch lights were broken or bulbs unscrewed.

One woman awoke to find herself in handcuffs.

After his arrest in Colorado, Bruce also was linked to sexual assaults on women in Albuquerque, N.M. He was sentenced to 156 years in that state last year stemming from similar break-ins and assaults on at least nine women.

He has been convicted of two assaults on women in Colorado and remains under investigation for possible sexual assaults against women in Austin and Lubbock, Texas.

After the window peeping charge, he was charged and sentenced to 64 years in prison for trying to kill a Pueblo police officer by blowing up his home.

Police say Bruce was attempting to keep the police officer from submitting his DNA to the national reporting system when he committed that crime.

“This guy was essentially a pro at burglary and committing rapes, not just in Oklahoma but in Texas, New Mexico and Colorado,” Easley said.

The women in Norman declined to talk about the assaults, and Bruce tried to shield his face from photographers as he was led from the courtroom following his sentencing. has disabled the comments for this article.
by Jane Glenn Cannon
Senior Reporter
A native of Oklahoma, Jane Glenn Cannon is an award-winning reporter who has covered everything from crime, courts and government to entertainment and features. She wrote a popular personal column for many years. She is a former associate writer...
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