Outrage Over 6 Month Sentence for Stanford Student Convicted of Rape

The sentencing of, Brock Turner, a now-former Stanford student and athlete convicted of raping an unconscious woman, to six months in jail has sparked national outrage. Fueling the outrage are the apparent efforts of Turner’s father to defend his son, saying Turner should not have to go to jail over “20 minutes of action” and blaming the victim for being intoxicated and promiscuous.

“He will never be his happy go lucky self with that easy going personality and welcoming smile,” he wrote of his son. “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.”

The 20-year old swimmer was convicted in March of intent to commit rape of an intoxicated/unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person. The maximum sentence allowed was 14 years, and the prosecution requested Turner be put in jail for six years, but the judge said positive character references and a lack of prior convictions influenced his decision to be lenient. He also said the fact that Turner himself was also intoxicated at the time of the attack meant he had “less moral culpability.”

The 23-year old victim wrote and gave an impassioned speech before the court about the role male privilege and classism played in the results of the trial that went viral on Buzzfeed. She also gave a furious response to Turner’s efforts to defend himself by saying he was committed to  speaking out “against the college campus drinking culture and the sexual promiscuity that goes along with that” and educating other students on how “one night of drinking can ruin a life.”

“Let me rephrase for you, I want to show people that one night of drinking can ruin two lives. You and me. You are the cause, I am the effect. …

“Your damage was concrete; stripped of titles, degrees, enrollment. My damage was internal, unseen, I carry it with me. You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today.”

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