WHAT REALLY UPSETS ME ABOUT BROCK TURNER’S CASE
Brock Turner was a Stanford University swimmer at the time he was arrested for sexual assault in January 2015. Just last week Brock was sentenced to six month in county jail, as well as three years’ probation after a jury found him guilty of sexually assaulting woman outside of a fraternity party.
Mr. Turner and the woman he assaulted met at a party in the Kappa Alpha fraternity house. Later that night, Turner was arrested after two Swedish Stanford graduate students noticed him lying on top of his victim behind a dumpster outside of the Kappa Alpha fraternity house. Turner attempted to flee the scene of the crime but he was tackled by one of the graduate students. When the police arrived they transported the victim who was unconscious and unresponsive to the hospital.
This high profile case became even larger when the victim wrote an impact letter that was read aloud to the court. This letter has since on viral drawing national attention to rapes on college campuses. Currently, our society is hyperaware of sexual violence causing this case and in particular Turner’s conviction to receive scrutiny from across the country.
Following Turner’s conviction the prosecutor was seeking a sentence of six years in a California prison. Probation officials however, recommended he receive a significantly lesser sentence of only six months in county jail.
Last Thursday the Court handed down a three month sentence for the 20-year-old Turner. His sentence has sparked a national debate about rape culture and drinking in college.
Aaron Persky was the Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge decided in favor of the lesser penalties in part because, the athlete’s lack of criminal record and letters from character witnesses vouching for him.
Critics have ridiculed the legal system for once again showing favoritism and lenient sentences to athletes when they commit crimes. Including District Attorney Jeff Rosen who believes the sentence was not stiff enough.
Rosen stated: “The punishment does not fit the crime. The predatory offender has failed to take responsibility, failed to show remorse and failed to tell the truth. The sentence does not factor in the true seriousness of this sexual assault, or the victim’s ongoing trauma. Campus rape is no different than off-campus rape. Rape is rape. And I will prosecute it as such.”
Turners sentence brings up an interesting point of view concerning sexual assault on college campuses. It seems as if our society and legal system give college students much more of a break when it comes to crimes.
For instance, what if a similar instance had happened here in Atlanta. except this time it is 20 year-old high school drop out who is found on top of an unconscious 23 year-old college graduate by a dumpster behind a bar in Buckhead. I do not doubt for a second that the man in this scenario would have received a sentence of six years if not more.
It is time to stop seeing the violent actions of college men against woman as the actions of a dumb college kid. A crime is a crime is a crime, no matter where or by whom it is committed. The lack of remorse on the part of Turner goes to show his mentality about this situation. There is a perception that the actions of a drunk college male can easily be written of as the result of a woman who “was asking for it”. No woman asks to be assaulted and the men who are committing these crimes need to be held to the same standard as any other criminal.