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Stanford Rape Case Aftermath Sparks Outrage

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The Stanford Rape Case made both national and even international headlines due to the significant shortage of the sentence of a man named Brock Turner, a former Stanford University All-American swimmer. Turner was a 19-year-old freshman, scholarship student and member of the swimming team. The case called to question rape culture, privilege, the criminal justice system, and campus safety.

Turner’s notoriety came to play when he sexually penetrated an intoxicated and unconscious 22-year-old with his fingers. The case sparked outrage when Turner was sentenced to six months in prison instead of the 14 years his convictions potentially sentenced him for. Turner was originally indicted for five charges in January of 2015, with two being rape, one for attempted rape, and two for felony sexual assault. The two rape charges were later dropped on October of 2015 when DNA results were reviewed.

What also made the case spark nation-wide and pulled heart-strings was the victim’s letter (who is referred to as “Emily Doe” by news outlets to maintain her anonymity) addressed to Turner, which was read aloud during court on the day the judge made his ruling. Doe’s letter described in vivid detail everything that she remembers and the aftermath.

“You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today,’’ Doe had said to Turner.

According to an article by CNN, more than 191,000 people signed a Change.org petition titled “Remove Aaron Persky from the Bench For Decision in Brock Turner case”. The article was written on June 7, 2016. And as of November 3, 2016, more than 1,318,376 signatures were made, with 1.5 million being the goal.

“Judge Persky failed to see that the fact that Brock Turner is a white male star athlete at a prestigious university does not entitle him to leniency,” the petition read. “He also failed to send the message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class, race, gender or other factors.” The petition description also made note that it is an effort to force impeachment hearings for Judge Persky by the California Assembly and not a “recall effort”.

The story goes that two foreign college students both saw Turner assaulting an unconscious Doe and confronted Turner. Turner then quickly fled and the two Swedish students pinned down Turner while waiting for the police to arrive. The campus police soon arrived, questioned Turner and then arrested him. When Doe woke up at the hospital, she had no idea what had happened.

Turner pleaded not guilty for all convictions. Turner told the police that both he and Doe left the party, and that he didn’t know her name and stated that he would not be able to recognize her if he saw her again. Turner also said that he and Doe were both drinking and both walked out together, holding hand in hand. Reportedly, Turner said that he and Doe were about to have intercourse until Turner needed to vomit because he felt nauseous. When Turner returned he heard two voices and that he didn’t understand what they were saying.

He also denied that he tried to runaway from the two foreign college students.

In addition, Turner’s father, Dan Turner, wrote a letter to Judge Persky on why his son shouldn’t be found guilty, pleading that his son be on probation and that he could make a positive contribution to society.

“Brock can do so many positive things as a contributor to society and is totally committed to educating other college age students about the dangers of alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity,” Dan Turner had written. “Probation is the best answer for Brock in this situation and allows him to give back to society in a net positive way.’’

The Stanford Rape case wasn’t Turner’s first run-in with the law, as he has a history with drugs and alcohol. The police reported that on Turner’s phone were pictures and messages of extensive drug use including: LSD, ecstasy, marijuana, and alcohol. In 2014, Turner was arrested with possession of alcohol while underage.

In response to Turner’s arrest, Stanford banned him from the campus. On September 2, 2016 Turner was released from California jail after his 6 month sentence, and after just serving three months. He is now registered as Tier three sex offender, the harshest of the three levels in Ohio. Turner must register as a sex offender for life, and must check in every three months. He is now living in Ohio where his parents live.

On November 1, 2016 the victim, still referred to as “Emily Doe”, spoke out once again as Glamour magazine nominated her as ‘Women of the Year.’ In a letter written by Doe, Doe talked about her life during the trial of Turner from the letters of support she received to the California Governor’s Signing of Assembly Bill 2888 to a message addressed to potential victims of sexual assault.

“Victims are not victims, not some fragile, sorrowful aftermath. Victims are survivors, and survivors are going to be doing a hell of a lot more than surviving,’’ Doe said.

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The student news site of Hayward High School
Stanford Rape Case Aftermath Sparks Outrage