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Other charges against Bracke could be dropped

Already serving 39-year sentence

by Tom Chillemi

Four sexual charges and an attempted first-degree murder charge against convicted child molester Arthur Rudolph Bracke could be dropped.

This week Middlesex Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Hurd said he intends to Nolle Prosequi (not prosecute) the remaining charges involving alleged sexual offenses on a minor and the charge of attempted murder. A hearing is set for August 5 at 9:30 a.m. in Middlesex Circuit Court.

Hurd said he based his decision on several factors, including the fact Bracke is 63 years old and is currently serving a 39-year prison sentence for his sexual and arson convictions.

Hurd said there is difficulty with one witness in the attempted murder case, and there are other factors that have led him to consider dropping that charge.

Regarding the four sexual felony charges pending against Bracke that involve a different minor, Hurd said that having the child victim testify on the sex charges could be detrimental to the child.

There is less need to have the second child witness testify now that the Virginia Court of Appeals denied Bracke’s appeal of the 2008 sexual convictions and upheld those convictions, said Hurd.

Hurd added that those felony charges not prosecuted can be reinstated at a later time.

In August 2008 a Middlesex Circuit Court jury found Bracke guilty of six sex-related crimes, including two felonies of aggravated sexual battery involving an 11-year-old boy that occurred in November 2007.

Bracke also pled guilty in September 2008 to setting fire to the house he was living in on Mill Wharf Road in Wake on November 17, 2007. Bracke is currently charged with attempted first degree murder in connection with the fire. Allegedly, his adopted son, who was 19 years old at the time, was sleeping inside when the fires were set in two different areas of the interior of the house.

On July 15, 2009, a judge of the Virginia Court of Appeals denied Bracke’s appeal of the 2008 sexual convictions, said Hurd, who added Bracke has now requested that a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals hear his request for an appeal.

Hurd said he is more comfortable with not prosecuting the remaining charges now that the court of appeals has issued its first ruling. He added that an order of Nolle Prosequi allows the Commonwealth to later reinstate the charges at any time.

Bracke was a child abuse investigator with the Middlesex Department of Social Services for 21 years. He retired on July 31, 2007 before these crimes and alleged crimes were committed.

Also at the August 5 court hearing, Hurd said he will present an order seeking to clarify restitution in the arson case, as the court’s sentencing order inadvertently omitted mentioning restitution.

During sentencing in November 2008, Judge William H. Shaw III, who is now retired, ordered Bracke to pay restitution, noted Hurd.

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Bracke sentenced to 39 years in prison
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posted 07.29.2009

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