MINOT, N.D. – A judge has ordered a Surrey man who admitted to repeatedly raping his stepdaughter to serve 20 years in prison, following impassioned statements in North Central District Court from the victim and her family.
Forty-four-year-old Russell Braun pleaded guilty in March to continuous sexual abuse of a child.
A criminal complaint against Braun indicated that Braun abused the girl between 2008 and 2011, and the abuse escalated over time, to the point where he threatened to kill the girl and himself if she told her mother.
During victim impact statements as part of Marsy’s Law, one family member said Braun’s actions had caused the family “physical and emotional torment.”
“What kind of human being could be capable of committing such a crime?” asked another relative.
Judge Stacy Louser upheld a joint recommendation between the state and the defense for a 40-year sentence, with Braun serving 20, followed by ten years of supervised probation.
He will also have to register as a sex offender, and must avoid contact with the victim and her family for the rest of his life.
Louser also said the court expects Braun to pursue treatment while in prison, as recommended by the Department of Corrections, even though the writer of his pre-sentence investigation did not recommend treatment.
“You, sir, are a predator,” said Louser, when discussing Braun’s sentencing factors.
Louser called Braun a “continued risk to society” and said his PSI indicated he attempted to blame the victim for his actions. She said his incarceration would give the family an “opportunity to heal.”
“This family will never be made whole,” said Louser.
Louser also said she was “at a loss” as to how the writer of the PSI did not recommend offender treatment.
When given the chance to speak, Braun said he took responsibility for his actions and said he wanted treatment.
Braun could have faced up to life in prison without the chance of parole on the AA-felony charge.