In court, the victim denounced her attacker’s six-month sentence, while the attacker’s father complained that his son’s life had been ruined for “20 minutes of action.”
Yes, you’ve got to read this bad story. It’s emblematic of the way rape victims are treated in this country. The difference here is the courageous statement by the victim after the perp was sentenced to 6 months in prison.
There are some paragraphs in the article that will make any rational person–male or female–screaming mad.
Here are a couple. I’ve bolded my particular favorites in the scream-inducing department:
The case, which had made headlines after the suspect was found guilty in March, began to seize the public’s attention anew after a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge, Aaron Persky, on Thursday handed the defendant, Brock Allen Turner, 20, what many critics denounced as a lenient sentence, including three years’ probation, for three felony counts of sexual assault.
According to the judge: “A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him. I think he will not be a danger to others.”
The judge, identified by The Guardian as a Stanford alumnus, handed Mr. Turner, a champion swimmer, far less than the maximum 14 years after he was convicted, pointing out that he had no “significant” prior offenses, he had been affected by the intense media coverage, and “there is less moral culpability attached to the defendant, who is … intoxicated,” The Guardian said.
And here are a few more:
Michele Dauber, a law professor and sociologist at Stanford, said Monday that she was part of a committee that was organizing a recall challenge to Judge Persky, whose position is an elected one. And by Tuesday, a Change.org petition calling for the judge’s removal had garnered over 240,000 supporters.
Professor Dauber said the judge had misapplied the law by granting Mr. Turner probation and by taking his age, academic achievement and alcohol consumption into consideration.
“If you’re going to declare that a high-achieving perpetrator is an unusual case, then you’re saying to women on college campuses that they don’t deserve the full protection of the law in the state of California,” the professor said.
On Sunday, Professor Dauber posted to Twitter a statement read to the court by the defendant’s father, Dan Turner.
I’m not able to grab and paste in the father’s statement but you can–and should–read the whole thing within the link to the article. Warning: don’t eat food before you read it.
UPDATE 6/8/16. Thanks to Leslie Salzillo on DailyKos–who diligently copied Dan Turner’s letter about his son–I can paste it in here below. Again the warning: don’t eat before reading:
“As it stands now, Brock’s life has been deeply altered forever by the events of Jan 17th and 18th. He will never be his happy go lucky self with that easy going personality and welcoming smile. His every waking minute is consumed with worry, anxiety, fear, and depression. You can see this in his face, the way he walks, his weakened voice, his lack of appetite. Brock always enjoyed certain types of food and is a very good cook himself. I was always excited to buy him a big ribeye steak to grill or to get his favorite snack for him. I had to make sure to hide some of my favorite pretzels or chips because I knew they wouldn’t be around long after Brock walked in from a long swim practice. Now he barely consumes any food and eats only to exist. These verdicts have broken and shattered him and our family in so many ways. His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life. The fact that he now has to register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life forever alters where he can live, visit, work and how he will be able to interact with people and organizations. What I know as his father is that incarceration is not the appropriate punishment for Brock. He has no prior criminal history and has never been violent to anyone including his actions on the night of Jan. 17th 2015. Brock can do so many positive things as a contributor to society and it’s totally committed to educating other college age students about the dangers of alcohol, consumption and sexual promiscuity. By having people like Brock educate others on college campuses is how society can begin to break the cycle of binge drinking and its unfortunate results. Probation is the best answer for Brock in tis situation and allows him to give back to society in a net positive way.
Dan A. Turner
UPDATE: 6/10/16, from Joe Biden:
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. wrote that the woman had a “solid steel spine,” and lawmakers read excerpts of her statement on the House floor.