Jayden Bruce avoids prison, but had to face victim in court hearing: “I tried to kill myself”

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LUBBOCK, Texas — Jayden Bruce, 17, of Abernathy pleaded guilty Tuesday to aggravated sexual assault of a child. As part of a deal with prosecutors, he was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication.

In simple terms, if he stays out of trouble for 10 years, he will not go to prison and he will not have a felony conviction. However, he will still be required to register as a sex offender.

Police were called in September 2020 to a residence in North Lubbock.

An arrest warrant said Bruce exposed himself to an underage girl while he was alone with her in the residence. The warrant said he did not have sex with her but made her do sexual things.

During a court hearing held via the internet because of concerns over COVID-19, the victim read a statement to the court.

“The night before I wrote this, I tried to kill myself,” she told the court. “I started cutting myself, because I thought I deserved to hurt.”

“Words cannot express the hatred we have in our hearts,” the victim’s dad said in a statement to the court. “I hope you never know the rage and vengeance that runs through a father’s heart when something like this happens to his daughter. God be with you son. Get right. You’re in a bad way.”

“I’m a Godly man and I believe forgiveness is key,” the father of the victim went on to say.

Bruce will be allowed to live in Lubbock and Hale County. He will also be allowed to use a computer for education, but his computer use will be subject to monitoring, according to statements presented in court.

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