Rapist Brock Turner Registered as Sex Offender for Life - Recall Judge Aaron Persky

Rapist Brock Turner Registered as Sex Offender for Life

This past week on September 2nd, Brock Turner, convicted rapist and former Stanford student, was released from Santa Clara County Jail in California after serving half of his six-month sentence. Turner, who was released early on good behavior, is now registered as a sex offender for life.

For those unfamiliar with the People v. Turner case (commonly termed the Stanford Rape Case), Turner was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious 22-year-old “Emily Doe” with his fingers. Two Swedish Stanford international students found Turner and Doe, intervened, and apprehended Turner.

Turner’s convictions included three charges of felony sexual assault, a conviction that carried a potential for a 14-year prison sentence. The District Attorney recommended a prison statement of 6 years which is the midrange for sentencing guidelines. Ultimately, there was a statutory presumption of a minimum of two-year incarceration.

However, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Turner to an incarceration of only six months with a probation of three years, claiming that a longer sentence would have a “severe impact” on Turner’s future and swimming career. This ruling outraged many people following the trial who angrily asked if Turner’s swim times are more important than the months of suffering Emily Doe has and will continue to endure. Turner did not serve his time in state prison, and instead spent his 6-months in a county jail, a sentence that many critics condemned as too lenient.

Shortly after Turner’s conviction, two letters relating to the case were made public and have since gained widespread public attention: one from the victim, Emily Doe describing her ordeal in a powerful 12 pages; and the other from Turner’s father, who did not condemn his son’s actions describing them only as “20 minutes of action”.

Emily Doe’s letter, with her especially powerful opening of “You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today” sparked public outcry on social media and has since promoted conversations about sexual assault on campus.

Following Emily Doe’s letter and the release of Turner from county jail, social media has again been abuzz with public outrage at Turner’s actions and short sentence. Of the social media responses to Brock Turner’s release, one that garnered significant attention has been the twitter hashtag #ThingsLongerThanBrockTurnersRapeSentence.

While some tweets were more serious in nature, most with this tongue-in-cheek hashtag used humor to express their frustration of Turner’s lenient sentence and early release. Through both humor and earnest disapproval, these tweets gained massive public support and hundreds of retweets and favorites.

Although Turner’s sentence is light, it is still much longer than the sentences of those whose sexual assault crimes have not been reported or convicted. In fact, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women and one in sixteen men are sexually assaulted while in college. In addition, more than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault.

Although People v. Turner has raised awareness about the realities of sexual assault on college campuses, much improvement still has to be made in regards to convicting rapists and changing legislature about sexual assault and rape.

In the words of Emily Doe, “to girls everywhere, I am with you”. To add to this powerful statement, if you find yourself dealing with sexual assault, abuse, and/or rape please speak to a loved one or specialist and seek help. The national sexual assault hotline is open 24 hours a day and can be reached at 1-800-656-4673.

 

Original article posted by The Vector
By Liem Ho
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