Brock Turner, a convicted sex offender, was released from a California jail on Friday morning after serving only half of his prescribed sentence for charges of sexual assault, including rape.
At roughly 6 a.m. local time, Turner was spotted exiting the Santa Clara County Jail by himself. According to NBC News, he was carrying a brown paper bag and a jacket. Before reporters could illicit commentary from Turner, he was picked up by a private vehicle.
Turner has been ordered to register as a sex offender – a distinction he will carry for the rest of his life – and to complete a sex offender rehabilitation program. He will also regularly have to submit to random drug and alcohol testing.
Earlier this year, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky sentenced the 20-year-old former Stanford swimming champion to six months in county jail and three years’ probation. Turner had been convicted of sexually assaulting a 23-year-old woman – who may not be identified according to regulations prescribing the protection of victims of sexual assault – who he had discovered unconscious due to alcohol consumption just outside a campus fraternity house where Turner had been drinking.
Turner proceeded to engage in non-consensual sexual acts with the woman until a group of students found him. The perpetrator attempted to flee the scene but was chased down by the students who managed to keep him restrained until the police arrived.
In June, during Turner’s trial, the woman he had violated issued a statement describing her emotional state following the assault.
“My independence, natural joy, gentleness, and steady lifestyle I had been enjoying became distorted beyond recognition. I became closed off, angry, self-deprecating, tired, irritable, empty.”
In her statement, the woman also wrote, “You have been convicted of violating me, intentionally, forcibly, sexually, with malicious intent, and all you can admit to is consuming alcohol. Do not talk about the sad way your life was upturned because alcohol made you do bad things. Figure out how to take responsibility for your own conduct.”
Since the conviction and subsequent sentencing, various critics have lashed out at the judge for issuing what they believed to be a far too lenient punishment. At the time, District Attorney Jeff Rosen expressed disappointment that Judge Persky had not sent Turner to a prison, where his sentence would be longer.
“The punishment does not fit the crime,” said Rosen. “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.”
Stanford University has since banned Turner from attending the institution, and he has also been banned from participating in swimming as a sport.