One night in January 2015, two Stanford University graduate students biking across campus spotted a freshman thrusting his body on top of an unconscious, half-naked woman behind a dumpster.
This March, a California jury found the former student, 20-year-old Brock Allen Turner, guilty of three counts of sexual assault. Turner faced a maximum of 14 years in state prison. On Thursday, he was sentenced to six months in county jail and probation. The judge said he feared a longer sentence would have a “severe impact” on Turner, a champion swimmer who once aspired to compete in the Olympics — a point repeatedly brought up during the trial.
On Thursday, Turner’s victim addressed him directly, detailing the severe impact his actions had on her — from the night she learned she had been assaulted by a stranger while unconscious, to the grueling trial during which Turner’s lawyers argued that she had eagerly consented.
Brock is am amazing swimmer you see.
He could have made the Olympics.
He’s white, intelligent, privileged and all of these things apparently make him more ‘valuable’ to society, and make him worthy of protecting, despite attacking an unconscious stranger behind a dumpster whose name he didn’t even know.
Turner’s father had called on the judge to grant his son probation, saying that he had already paid “a steep price … for 20 minutes of action”.
Dan Turner said his son’s life had “been deeply altered forever”.
“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.”
My heart bleeds. ( Not)
I wonder where Brock Turner learnt his values towards women?
I wonder why he obviously didn’t learn that vulnerable women need his help, not his sexual gratification?
I wonder why he thought that it was OK to pin her down, rape her and run away?
Her incredibly moving letter in court is a speech on behalf of all women, whatever our age, colour, background or religion.
This week my daughter who is 21 and a student at University, just like the victim in this tragic case, has been incredibly angry about the case of Brock Turner and the ridiculously lenient sentence he received for raping another student at Stanford.
Her anger makes me proud of her need to voice her opinion about rape, sexual assault, the culture of entitlement, male judges, and what a 6 month jail sentence reduced to 3 months tells the world about our values towards women.
It has also made her think about her own responsibility towards staying safe after a night out.
I read the incredibly moving account by the young woman robbed of her dignity, her self esteem, her right to sleep at night free from torturing nightmares, her right to go where she wants, when she wants, with whom she wants and I feel compelled to ask you to read in full her letter.
Get your sons to read it, get your daughters to read it.
Get your partners, husbands & Dads to read it.
Then ponder how do we teach our daughters to stay safe, trust men and have fun?
How do we teach our sons to respect women, protect them when they need help and understand what consent actually means?
Read the letter in its entirety here on Buzzfeed