Serial rapist admits guilt, asks for forgiveness
WEAKLEY COUNTY, TN. - Case closed. A serial rapist admits his guilt and asks for forgiveness.
A local man dubbed the "Big Bellied Rapist" said he hopes the women he raped can some day forgive him. On Thursday, Bruce Tuck admitted he is the man who terrorized a local university town with a series of rapes.
The Gleason, Tn. Native appeared in Weakley County Circuit Court and pleaded guilty to 19 of the 22 counts against him, including rape, kidnapping, sexual battery, burglary and theft.
Tuck is now classified as a "multiple rapist" under the plea agreement which means he must serve the full 20 year sentence for each indictment, which equals 60 years in prison.
Bruce Tuck entered the courtroom dressed in a suit and he was stone faced, showing no emotion through the entire hearing. Moments later Tuck pleaded guilty to multiple counts of aggravated rape, kidnapping, burglary and theft.
Tuck then addressed the court saying, "First of all, I'd like to say to the victims of these crimes that not a day goes by I don't think about what I've done. I accept full responsibility for these serious crimes. I can't even begin to imagine the hurt I caused. Since being incarcerated I've been interested in the Bible and ask for forgiveness and hopefully one day they can forgive me (inaudible). I do apologize for any hurt that I've caused these victims in these cases. Also, I'd like to say to my family, I apologize to them (inaudible) ordeal and (inaudible) media would respect their privacy."
Tuck's attorney admits the apology isn't going to give the victims or their families a lot of closure.
"It may make Bruce feel better," Colin Johnson said. "I don't know that it will make the families feel better, but what do you do? I mean, that's all you can do."
District Attorney General Tommy Thomas said now that Tuck will spend the next 60 years in prison he hopes people living in nearby communities feel safe again.
"The quicker the victims can get this matter behind them then the sooner they can achieve closure. Hopefully (they can) find peace and move along with their lives and that's our ultimate goal in trying to expedite this manner," Thomas said.
In fact, just last week Tuck wanted to move his court appearance up to give the victims closure. A move the District Attorney General said Tuck almost had to do saying,
"He didn't have many good options and he did not benefit a whole lot from his plea."
Bruce Tuck's family was visibly upset throughout the process, tearing up and crying at times. The victims and their families were also there but did not seem to show much emotion.
Johnson said his client did not want to go through the long drawn out process of a full jury trial.
"It really never was a case that was going to be tried and Bruce didn't want to try it because of his family and the victims," Johnson said.
Bruce Tuck's Family Statement:
"We were both shocked and sad to learn about the charges against our son and brother Bruce. Our thoughts and prayers have been with the victims and their families. We will continue to pray that God will bless them and heal them as they go on with their lives. We acknowledge that Bruce made some choices for which he must pay the consequences. We do not condone his actions. However, he is our son and our brother and we still love him just as God loves all of us and yet forgives us when we do wrong if we repent. Our hope and prayer is that wherever Bruce is assigned in the state that he will get the counseling and medical care that he needs."
District Attorney General's Statement:
"This has been a terrible ordeal for the victims and their families, and I am pleased that it is now over. I hope that they can achieve closure and find peace. There are no winners here today. We have the victims who ahve been violated, and I am saddened that we had to incarcerate this young man, most likely for the rest of his life. But it is necessary to confine Mr. Tuck, not only to justly punish him, but to protect society from him and to send a strong message to anyone contemplating such heinous acts."
UPDATE- 12:00 P.M. DRESDEN, TN - Accused rapist Bruce Tuck just entered a guilty pleas to a number of charges he's facing.
Police arrested Tuck in September on charges connected to three rapes in Martin. Tuck has plead guilty to rape, kidnapping and burglary.
He's also suspected in attacks in the Memphis area, but has not been charged in those cases.
Local 6 will have a crew at this morning's hearing and we will keep you updated throughout the day.
UPDATE - 11:15 A.M. - The Martin Police Department has released an "official statement" regarding Tuck's plea and recommended sentence. Click Here to download and read the Martin Police Department release.
UPDATE - 10:38 A.M. - Tuck's attorney says "there was no way this was going to trial" when asked about the plea deal.
The District Attorney says there are "no winners" in today's proceedings.