Student Sentenced to 6 Months for Rape Released after 302-Sep-2016
Brock Turner, the ex-Stanford swimmer who made headlines after being sentenced to only six months in jail for raping an unconscious woman, has been released from jail after serving only three months.
Sharp criticism came after Turner received such a lenient sentence; he faced up to 14 years. A judge, however, felt that a long sentence would be a "hardship" for the college freshman, believing the young man felt "genuine remorse."
Turner's attorney argued that his client in his "drunken state, he remembered consent." Disregarding a jury's determination that there was no consent and the evidence to support their decision, Judge Aaron Persky said of Turner's defense, "I mean, I take him at his word that, subjectively, that's his version of events. The jury, obviously, found it not to be the sequence of events."
Never mind that the defendant's "sequence of events" did not seem to mesh with eyewitness testimony of Turner raping an "unconscious woman" behind a dumpster and attempting to flee upon being caught. Never mind that the victim's statement clearly and graphically demonstrated a lack of consent. And now, photographs of Turner taken after his arrest show that the defendant was bruised and his clothing torn after the encounter, which does not seem to indicate consent.
The victim's impact letter was graphic, emotionally charged, and difficult to read, and her statement was in sharp contrast to that of Turner's father, who said that even six months is prison was far too harsh for "20 minutes of action."
After Judge Persky sentenced Turner to six months, the public unleashed its outrage. Six months for three felony sexual assault convictions was called "a slap on the wrist," and "laughable"--although not too many people found it funny. And now, after serving just three months, Turner is free from jail. He will serve another three years of probation and must register for life as a sex offender.
A campaign to recall the judge, which cannot officially begin until April, has already collected more than 80,000 signatures and more than $300,000 in donations and pledges.. A separate petition to refuse to serve as jurors in Judge Persky's court, has collected more than 5,000 signatures.
Citing Turner's and his father's claim that "alcohol" was the problem in this situation and their apparent refusal to see any personal accountability for rape, former All-American Stanford swimmer Sabir Muhammad says, "As a parent, it's important to teach your children the difference between right and wrong. It's also important to teach your children accountability. What Brock Turner did on that night was wrong. ...Brock needs to realize that he was, and is, the problem here."
Muhammad continues with some advice for fathers: they need "to teach their sons that no means no -- and unconscious means call 911 or get medical help."
Recently, Oklahoma law was amended to clarify the rules of consent and specifically iterate that no person who is unconscious or "mentally or physically incapacitated" by alcohol or drugs can consent to sexual activity. Read more here.
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