I stand completely horrified and at a loss of words at the recent decision made in prosecuting “aspiring athlete” Brock Turner, a student at Stanford University, who raped a student whilst she was unconscious. His conviction was an embarrassing six month sentence in prison, of which he may only serve half. 3 months in prison for raping a girl because she wasn’t conscious to stop him.
I’ve read multiple reports justifying the (lack of) conviction of the rapist, Turner, with one being it’s legally not classified as “rape” as she was unconscious and therefore couldn’t NOT give consent… The absurdity of this makes my head hurt. If this is the case, serious changes ought to be made to the legal system whereby we concentrate on the legal definition of “rape” to include denying a woman the right to consent. What’s furthermore worrying is the fact that this is being used as an excuse to justify such a ridiculously lenient sentence. Yes, Turner had no prior criminal convictions, and he may have had good character references but the fact remains, he is still and always will be a rapist now. Another justification by the Judge, Aaron Persky, for a short sentence was because prison would severely impact the rapist¹. Judge, I think that’s what we’re all hoping for – a severe impact on a rapist who took the choice of consent from a girl so he could engage in sexual intercourse with her.
The real issue at the forefront of most minds is the correlation between race and prison sentence, and the privilege that comes with being wealthy and white in America. Apparently, it puts you above the law. Aaron Persky, and Dan Turner, father of Brock Turner, have both set out the example that rape is okay – if you’re white. A girl will now face the rest of her life knowing that justice has not been served for a crime against her; that her right to say no was stripped from her, and the perpetrator shall not pay the price, because he’s too delicate. We must ask ourselves what would be different had the athlete been black, Middle Eastern or South Asian? A tougher prison sentence, for one. No remorse, either, I imagine. Judge Persky has brushed a rape of an unconscious woman under the carpet by labelling it as a “drunken mistake” which suffices as mitigating circumstances and thus results in virtually no prison time. What an abhorrent example this sets for our generation, and the future.
I do not care that Brock Turner was an aspiring athlete. That’ll never change what he’s done to his victim; she may never recover from his attack. Turner’s father wrote a letter to the judge which sickened majority of the population; he showed an utter disregard for his son’s attack and instead attempted to draw significant attention to Turner’s character. It’s concerning to see someone show almost no remorse for his son’s actions in comparison to the apparent trauma his son is now enduring. You cannot blame “party culture” for Turner’s rape, either; it was Brock Turner’s choice to commit a sexual attack on a vulnerable woman. He took advantage of her and he must serve his time accordingly.
A further chilling aspect to the Stanford Rape Case is the Turners’ quick decision to hire private investigators and the most expensive lawyers in order to save Turner’s reputation. For a rapist to take the stand and claim he believed his victim was “enjoying” being raped by him, and his desperate attempt to appear “confused” instead of a rapist makes us all shudder in simultaneous disgust and disbelief. Dan Turner even commented on Twitter, saying his son now suffers from “anxiety and depression.” That’s the least he deserves for this crime. There appears to be not a single expression of remorse or guilt by the rapist; a girl can now no longer live her life the way she planned because her future was snatched from her by a boy who will serve only three months in prison for it.
It’s horrifying that cases such as this are common worldwide; I can only pray the victim finds peace within herself and with life. However, I hope she takes some solace in knowing that men and women worldwide are publicly condemning the conviction. She represents the countless victims of sexual assault and rape, who’ve been silenced by the justice system. We are with you, and we will always fight for you. Henceforth, this case will be defined and dominated by people worldwide fighting for justice for people who have suffered at the hands of rapists and sexual predators. We have no interest in Brock Turner’s life pre-rape: by God’s grace, he’ll be stripped of all his privileges and future aspirations.
We all want justice – for you.
The victim’s statement can be found here: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/stanford-rape-case-brock-turner-victims-statement-a7074246.html
Featured image: http://www.vox.com/2016/6/10/11904740/brock-turner-stanford-assault-pastor-letter