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'It's a joke': Man receives light sentence for rape of a dying woman

Brian Varela convicted of raping a dying woman (Photo: KOMO)

SNOHMISH COUNTY, Washington (KOMO) - A Snohomish County man was sentenced to just 34 months in prison after admitting he raped a young woman while she overdosed on drugs, then let her die.

Brian Varela, 20, pleaded guilty to 2nd Degree Manslaughter, 3rd Degree Rape, and Unlawful Disposal of Remains.

He admitted he raped 18-year-old Alyssa Noceda last February while she overdosed in his bedroom. He did nothing to help. He even sent photos of her mostly nude body to his friends mocking her as she lay there dying.

Then he tried to cover up Noceda’s death by disposing of her body, but police caught him first. In court, Varela said, "I'm sorry for my foolish actions. Whatever I get is what I deserve."

A judge sentenced Varela to 34 months in prison Thursday, acknowledging she felt it was inadequate, but state law required her to follow sentencing guidelines. Varela had no criminal history.

“It’s a joke,” Alyssa’s mother, Gina Pierson said. “Usually people who do stuff like this don’t get away with a slap on the wrist.”

Pierson and her family plan to take the fight to the state legislature and challenge those sentencing guidelines. After all, they face a life sentence.

“I just keep thinking I’ll never see her again,” Pierson said.

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