The father of the 20-year-old former Stanford University convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on campus told the judge his son should not go to jail for “20 minutes of action,” according to a newly released statement.
Brock Turner received a 6-month sentence after his March conviction on three felony sexual assault charges, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.
Turner was spotted sexually assaulting the nearly-naked and unconscious young woman behind a dumpster by two students, who chased him and held him down until authorities arrived, according to the DA’s Office. He withdrew from Stanford after his arrest.
In a statement apparently written by Dan A. Turner ahead of his son’s sentencing, and released Sunday morning by Stanford Law Professor Michele Dauber, the father called on the judge to be lenient.
Turner explained that he believed his son’s life was already “deeply altered forever,” and that he had already paid “a steep price … for 20 minutes of action,” the statement read.
#brockturner father: son not "violent" only got "20 mins of action" shouldn't have to go to prison. @thehuntinground pic.twitter.com/IFECJs687b
— Michele Dauber (@mldauber) June 5, 2016
The father concluded that, “Probation is the best answer for Brock in this situation and allows him to give back to society in a net positive way.”
Brock Turner was sentenced to jail after Judge Aaron Persky heard from him and the unnamed 23-year-old survivor, the DA’s Office said.
His father’s plea is in stark contrast to the compelling, deep-felt statement the the woman read in court, which detailed at length and in graphic detail how the January 2015 sexual assault forever altered her life.
“I want to show people that one night of drinking can ruin two lives. You and me. You are the cause, I am the effect. You have dragged me through this hell with you, dipped me back into that night again and again. You knocked down both our towers, I collapsed at the same time you did. Your damage was concrete; stripped of titles, degrees, enrollment. My damage was internal, unseen, I carry it with me. You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today,” she said in the 13-page long statement, which was released by prosecutors.
She also explained that she suffered from nightmares, had trouble sleeping by herself and would often stay awake until dawn in the months following the assault. The 23-year-old woman also detailed how she kept spoons in her refrigerator to help with the puffiness around her eyes following a night of crying, and told the court that she became dependent on others for fear of being alone.
(Read the full statement here)
Despite the heart-wrenching and emotional statement, the judge decided not to send Turner to prison, a ruling decried by prosecutors — who had requested six years in prison — as too lenient.
“The predatory offender has failed to take responsibility, failed to show remorse and failed to tell the truth. The sentence does not factor in the true seriousness of this sexual assault, or the victim’s ongoing trauma,” D.A. Jeff Rossen stated in the release. “Campus rape is no different than off-campus rape. Rape is rape. And I will prosecute it as such.”
In handing down the sentence, Persky explained that harsher penalty would have a “severe impact” on Turner, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The 20-year-old will also have to register as a lifetime sex offender.
In the wake of the ruling, as well as the survivor’s impact statement being released, a Change.org petition has called for Persky to be recalled from his judicial position.
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