by SARA MARSHALL/Editor-in-Chief
[Editor’s note: This story is the first part of the multi-series “Violated,” examining the horrors of sexual assault that began with Issue #1 and concludes in Issue #6. Several staff members took it upon themselves to interview, take photographs, and conduct research. The results of their combined efforts follow.]
It is an innocent enough sounding name, but sadly it really belongs to an arrogant, self-entitled man who made choices forever ruining the life of an innocent young woman.
In 2015, Turner was arrested after two Stanford University students on bikes spotted him thrusting his body on a half-naked, unconscious, 23-year old woman behind a dumpster on the Stanford University grounds in California. Thankfully, these students successfully restrained Turner until authorities were able to get to the scene and take him into custody.
After this truly horrific event, Turner was charged with five felony counts: rape of an intoxicated person, rape of an unconscious woman, sexual penetration by a foreign object of an intoxicated woman, sexual penetration by a foreign object of an unconscious woman, and assault with the intent to commit rape. From that moment on, media and the Internet fittingly labeled him “The Stanford Rapist.”
Despite the compelling evidence against Turner, he was only found guilty of three of the five felonies he was charged with: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated/unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person.
Even though he was only found guilty of three of the five charges, he was still looking at a maximum of 14 years in state prison. Prosecutors asked for a mere six years, but for some reason the Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aron Persky sentenced The Stanford Rapist to ONLY six months in county jail. This sentence was the lowest and most ridiculous outcome I could have ever expected out of this court case.
This is honestly the most despicable thing a judge could have done since 12 jurors unanimously found him guilty of committing three felonies the night he raped that unconscious young woman behind the dumpster.
After issuing the sentence, Judge Persky claimed “a prison sentence would have a severe impact on him. I think he will not be a danger to others.” Whether this is due to the judge’s affiliation with Stanford or it had to do with white, middle-class privilege, we can only assume. Personally, I think it is a mixture of both, which is absolutely despicable.
Turner’s father even helped justify his short sentence in court by saying that a long sentence would be “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 years of life.” If that makes you angry beyond belief, I’m right there with you. It is obvious where he got his obvious poor choices from.
Everything Turner did leading up to the sexual assault proves how guilty he was and how he should not have been allowed to walk free with so little consequences.
Turner demonstrated blatant disrespect and aggression toward other women leading up to the assault at the party where he found his victim, which shows that the six-month sentence was just a slap on the wrist and should have been much more severe, especially with his prior charges for alcohol possession.
To make the judge’s decision even more appalling and disgusting, The Stanford Rapist has just recently been released from jail, three months prior to his “full” six-month sentence due to “good behavior.” Good behavior. Let that sink in; a rapist was allowed back on the streets after serving three months in a county jail due to “good behavior.”
Would you want him going to college with your sisters, daughters? No? Well, then you would be with the majority of the population at the moment.
Many people have gone as far as to openly carry weapons and protest Turner’s early release right outside of his home in California. Parents, women’s rights activists and those who strongly disagree with his release all have made it a point to have their voices heard in this matter.
I do not believe Brock Turner deserves to be free. He does not deserve to still be able to torment the poor girl who has already gone through so much, just trying to get our justice system to believe her and do what is right, which did not happen in this case.
She has already suffered so much, and this is enough to push someone over the edge. I hope she will get through it and justice will somehow be put right.