ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The rapist known as "Ether Man" for disabling his victims with a chemical-soaked rag pleaded guilty to nine rapes Tuesday and was sentenced to 156 years in prison.
As part of a plea deal, Robert Howard Bruce admitted the Albuquerque rapes, pled guilty to other charges including aggravated burglary and aggravated battery.
He was sentenced immediately.
The Albuquerque-area crimes happened in the early 1990's. Bruce was later arrested in Colorado, and as part of a plea deal there earlier this year, he agreed to cooperate with authorities in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and any other states where he may have committed crimes.
To avoid letting the statute of limitations run on the New Mexico crimes, the Second Judicial District Attorney's office took the unusual step of indicting "Ether Man" as a John Doe so he could be prosecuted whenever he was caught.
Bruce was sentenced in Colorado for attempting to murder a sheriff's deputy set to testify against him in a Peeping Tom case.
Tuesday, the mother of a victim was the only person to address Bruce. She read a letter her daughter wrote in which she said she hopes Bruce "sit and rot alone for the rest of your pathetic life." The mother also told Bruce that if it was up to her she would have "rapist" tattooed on Bruce's forehead.
Bruce had no comment when the judge asked.
According to the plea deal, Bruce will sit down with APD cold case detectives next week to speak to them about some other unsolved rape cases. His confessions cannot be used against him.
Bruce still faces cases in Oklahoma and Texas. He will serve all of his time in federal prison. A request he made out of concerns for his safety.
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