Former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner has been convicted of sexual assault on three counts Thursday for his assault on an unconscious woman behind a dumpster last year. The 20-year-old Ohio native faced a maximum of nine years imprisonment during the trial but received a lenient sentence of six months and three months probation. According to judge Aaron Perksy, the lighter sentence was on account of Brock’s age and lack of criminal history. In addition, the judge explained that a severe sentence would have a “severe impact” on Turner.
The judge’s light sentence raised outrage in social media, with many netizens saying that Block Turner was let off easy because of “white privilege” and the “rape culture” mentality that pervades society.
— joe shoemaker (@jojosmojo) June 4, 2016
The “rape culture” card was given more credence as Brock’s dad, Dan Turner, wrote a letter to the judge saying that Brock has paid heavily for “20 minutes of action.” The letter penned by Turner received a barrage of condemnation and criticism in social media because of how it downplays the Brock Turner’s sexual assault as something of no consequence, oblivious of the emotional trauma the victim will have to face for the rest of her life.
RAPE CULTURE: Brock Turner's dad is sad he only got "20 minutes of action" & doesn't even like eating steaks anymore pic.twitter.com/eQswM8Lb11
— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) June 5, 2016
To add insult to injury, a childhood friend of Brock Turner, Leslie Rasmussen, also wrote a letter to the judge blaming the Stanford athlete’s rape conviction on “political correctness,” as reported by Jezebel. Leslie claimed that she is the most reliable person to talk to in terms of judging Brock Turner’s character.
“Brock is not a monster. He is the furthest thing from anything like that, and I have known him much longer than the people involved in this case,” she wrote. “I don’t think it’s fair to base the fate of the next ten + years of his life on the decision of a girl who doesn’t remember anything but the amount she drank to press charges against him.
“I am not blaming her directly for this, because that isn’t right. But where do we draw the line and stop worrying about being politically correct every second of the day and see that rape on campuses isn’t always because people are rapists.”
Leslie also blamed universities for encouraging “partying” and “drinking,” which she says throws “barely 20-somethings” into an environment where “things get out of hand.” Brock was reportedly drunk when he committed the crime.
“It is because universities market themselves as the biggest party schools in the country. They encourage drinking.
“I think it is disgusting and I am so sick of hearing that these young men are monsters when really, you are throwing barely 20-somethings into these camp-like university environments, supporting partying, and then your mind is blown when things get out of hand.”
She also explained the difference between rapists who kidnap their victims and “idiot boys and girls” who have had too much to drink, suggesting that Brock Turner is one of the latter.
“This is completely different from a woman getting kidnapped and raped as she is walking to her car in a parking lot. That is a rapist. These are not rapists.
“These are idiot boys and girls having too much to drink and not being aware of their surroundings and having clouded judgement.”
While she maintained that there are “young men that take advantage of young women,” Leslie explained why she thinks Brock Turner is not one of those people.
“I’m not saying that is every case because I know there are young men that take advantage of young women and vice versa, but I know for a fact that Brock Turner is not one of those people.
“He [Brock Turner] is respectful and caring, talented, and smart enough to know better.”
To Brock Turner's victim: know this – we are with you https://t.co/idhdZSRVZi Thoughts on the most powerful statement on rape I've ever read
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) June 6, 2016
As previously reported in The Inquisitr, two male graduates were passing by a college fraternity party on January 18, 2015, when they caught Brock Turner on top of an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. They reportedly tackled Turner and called the police after he made an attempt to escape.
[Image via Santa Clara County Sheriff/AP]