Former Stanford student Brock Turner was recently convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman, and he has received a six-month jail sentence for the crime. There has been a lot of controversy around the case, and one of the controversial aspects is a letter Turner’s father wrote to the presiding judge attempting to show that his son is a decent person.
The letter explains that his son has been devastated by what happened, and it explains his son is truly sorry for what he did. It also points out some of Turner’s personal history and some of the positive aspects of his personality. The father writes in the letter that Turner shouldn’t receive a jail sentence for “20 minutes of action.”
In response to this letter, a pastor in North Carolina named John Pavlovitz has written a blog post about why he doesn’t support what is said in the letter, according to Vox.
The post is addressed to Brock Turner’s father, and it explains that Pavlovitz is also a father and understands the desire to defend a son. However, the blog post goes on to say that that doesn’t mean he agrees with how Turner’s father has portrayed his son’s actions.
“If his life has been ‘deeply altered’ it is because he has horribly altered another human being; because he made a reprehensible choice to take advantage of someone for his own pleasure,” the post reads. “This young woman will be dealing with this for far longer than the embarrassingly short six months your son is being penalized. She will endure the unthinkable trauma of his ’20 minutes of action’ for the duration of her lifetime, and the fact that you seem unaware of this fact is exactly why we have a problem.”
Pavlovitz goes on to explain that he believes trying to excuse Turner’s actions in any way at all causes women who are raped to not want to come out and say they were raped.
“There is no scenario where your son should be the sympathetic figure here,” the post reads. “He is the assailant. He is the rapist. I can’t imagine as a father how gut wrenching such a reality is for you, but it is still true.”
Brock Turner’s case has faced a lot of media attention lately, partially because he was given such a short sentence for his crime. Turner was a swimmer at Stanford, and USA Swimming announced on Friday a lifetime ban on Turner participating in its events.
Turner has also received a lot of outrage from the public. Several petitions have called for the recall of the judge who presided over his case, saying he was too lenient with Turner.
A letter directed at Brock Turner’s mother was also recently published on the Huffington Post.
The letter is written by a mother who says she understands how difficult this must be for Turner’s mother, but she encourages her to accept his sentence and have Brock give a sincere apology.
“Mrs. Turner, I know that parenting is difficult and people will always judge us for something,” the letter reads. “But, when we chose to bring children into this world, we accepted the great responsibility of nurturing them into upstanding citizens.”
The Guardian recently obtained the statement Brock Turner gave to the judge during his trial where he blames drinking and “party culture” for his crime. The victim of the crime told The Guardian this is a damaging way to view sexual assault.
“People need to know that this way of thinking is dangerous,” she said. “It’s threatening. More than my emotions, it’s my safety, everyone else’s safety. It’s not just me feeling sad and defeated. It’s honest fear.”
[Photo by Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office/AP Images]