Rose McGowan has a problem with Judge Aaron Persky as do many women in California and across the United States. They are outraged by the sentence he gave to Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner. Turner had been found guilty of digitally penetrated a woman who had been intoxicated and unconscious at the time, and for his sexual violation, he was given six months in jail.
Persky’s decision was apparently the result of listening to the probation department’s recommendation, based on Turner’s youth, intoxication, and previously clean record. District Attorney Jeff Rosen’s office argued for a six-year prison term. Rosen, reportedly incensed by the judge’s decision, has subsequently introduced a bill to toughen the sentencing for persons convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious person, according to Mercury News.
“Why — under the law — is a sexual assault of an unconscious woman less terrible than that of a conscious woman? Is it less degrading? Is it less traumatic?”
The standard sentence for sexual assault is two years in prison. Persky’s decision on the Turner case drew outrage from Stanford law professor Michele Dauber, who demands a recall. This case also garnered the attention of the women’s advocacy group known as UltraViolet.
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McGowan, an actress and singer, is known for her role in Jawbreaker, among others. The accompanying music video from Imperial Teen’s “Yoohoo” even had the actress make a cameo.
In 2001, McGowan also replaced Shannen Doherty as Paige Matthews in Charmed.
Now, McGowan has returned to music in her latest role yet as a real-world feminist activist intent on removing Judge Aaron Persky from his seat in the Supreme Court in California after giving a convicted rapist less than the minimum prison sentence. This sentencing could easily be the beginning of a new low for rape culture as the justice system doesn’t even give the convicted felons their due punishment. It could encourage more men to act on their sexual urges due to the possibility of reduced sentences.
Joining Rose McGowan onstage at the benefit concert were a variety of rock, pop, and hip-hop groups and bands such as Amber Tamblyn, Madame Gandhi, The Skins, Edith Pop, and The New Tarot. The “F*** Rape Culture” concert was intended to raise money for the cause of unseating Judge Aaron Persky and promoting awareness of his alleged double standards.
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) July 31, 2016
Miami area nurse Maria Ruiz called him out on those standards, stating, “The bias part is basically what we are focusing on. He has shown to treat one group of people one way, and the other group of people another way. We hope they will see the pattern that we see.”
Rose McGowan’s efforts with those bands and their cause might not have been enough, though, and money talks. You can still donate to the cause by clicking here.
Ruiz’s petition has already gained over 1.2 million signatures, but it’s still gaining steam. If you want your voice to be heard and to get Judge Persky removed from his seat, you can sign her petition by clicking here. F*** Rape Culture also has a petition going if you want to sign it by clicking here.
If the efforts of Rose McGowan, Nurse Maria Ruiz, and over a million others work, the United States might see true justice in cases of rape, and more victims might feel empowered to come forward and take down their violators.
[Image via Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Housing Works]