The man who raped a high school student who later died from a drug overdose was sentenced to less than three years in prison.
Superior Court Judge Linda Krese said that Brian Varela could not be sentenced to more than two years and 10 months because it was the most prison time permitted for someone with no prior criminal record, The Daily Herald reported.
Varela had pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter, third-degree rape and unlawful disposal of remains as part of a plea deal in the February death of 18-year-old Alyssa Noceda.
Krese said she was "surprised, even outraged," by the inadequacy of the sentence and suggested that state lawmakers may not have realized the impact of their decision when they set prison sentences for the charges.
"I'm not sure the Legislature really contemplated something like this," Krese said.
In February, Noceda was at a party in Martha Lake, Washington, when she snorted crushed pills and consumed a dab of concentrated THC, Varela told police. She then passed out.
Varela did nothing to help. Police said that, instead, he took lewd photos of her. Then, Varela allegedly sent a group text to his co-workers with photos that showed an unconscious woman.
According to police statements, the message with the photos said, "LOL I think she od’d, still breathing.”
According to court papers, Varela was "too tired" to take her to the emergency room and went to bed.
The next morning, Varela used Noceda's finger to gain access to her phone via its fingerprint scanner and created a post on her Snapchat account. The post gave the impression that she had run away from home, which she had a history of doing, according to court documents.
Then he showed his roommate Noceda's body. Rather than calling police, Varela went to work at his job at Mukilteo Dairy Queen. He then tossed Noceda's phone into a wooded area behind the store.
While at work, he bragged about the woman dying while they were having sex, court papers say. His co-workers encouraged him to take the woman to a hospital, but he didn't.
When Varela got home that night, according to his roommate's statement, he forced Noceda's body into a plastic container. Varela admitted to police that he had planned to bury the body.
After seeing information on social media about Noceda being missing, Varela's assistant manager reported the incident to police.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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