A lenient six-month sentence for the sex offender is sparking public outcry.
This week, ex-Stanford star swimmer, Brock Turner, who was seen raping an unconscious 22 year-old woman behind a dumpster last January, was given an inexplicable sentence for his crime: six months jail time.
The lenient ruling was made by Judge Aaron Persky, despite a unanimous guilty verdict, three felony convictions, the objections of 250 Stanford students, and a moving statement by the victim, who has only been identified as Emily Doe, who read her attacker aloud a letter at the hearing, describing the impact of his actions as “[taking] away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice,”
The outcome has sparked mass outrage from members of the public, who are calling Persky’s disproportionate ruling to Turner’s crime a cause for judicial misconduct, igniting a petition on change.org asking for the judge to be removed.
The petition, which has already attracted over 190,000 signatures, highlights the potential role Turner’s status as a star athlete played in his sentencing.
‘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. He also failed to send the message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class, race, gender or other factors. Please help rectify this travesty to justice,’ the petition statement reads.
Stanford professor Michele Dauber echoed this sentiment in an interview with NBC News this week, saying, “[Persky was] very persuaded by the background of the young man as an elite athlete.”
Turner, who deputy district attorney Jeff Rosen likened to ” a predator searching for prey”, has failed to show remorse for his crime to date, attempting to excuse his actions as a result of drinking alcohol. His father went on to call his six-month sentence “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action”, a description I’m sure Turner’s victim would disagree with.
“I had to force myself to relearn my real name, my identity. To relearn that this is not all that I am,” Doe said during the hearing.
“I am a human being who has been irreversibly hurt, my life was put on hold for over a year, waiting to figure out if I was worth something.”
If you’d like to show your support for Emily Doe and speak out against rape culture, you can sign the petition to have Brock Turner’s judge removed, here.
Image via The Recorder.
Comment: Do you think Judge Persky should be removed?