Brock Turner (1995- ) is the “All-American swimmer” who has been all over US news lately for having sexually assaulted an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at Stanford University.
On January 17th 2015, Turner was just about to rape the woman when two Swedish students on bicycles drove by. They caught him and called the police. They were in tears having seen what he had done. Turner was not in tears till they called the police.
Stanford University rape statistics:
- 26 reported rapes a year from 2012 to 2014. Since most rapes are not reported, that comes to at least one a week on average.
- 43% of its female students have been sexually assaulted.
- 1 student has been kicked out for sexual assault from 1891 to 2015.
That Turner was tried and found guilty is the exception, not the rule. Thanks to the Swedes, it was not a he-said-she-said case.
But the courts still bent over backwards to protect Turner. Judge Aaron Persky gave him six months at the county jail instead of the recommended minimum of two years at state prison, saying:
“A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him. … I think he will not be a danger to others.”
He saw Turner as a person of good character who had had too much to drink.
It was not just the judge who went easy on him. The police did not make his mugshot public for 18 months, a courtesy not extended to Black suspects. The Washington Post called Turner an “All-American swimmer”, “baby-faced” and his crime “a stunning fall from grace”.
Fortunately, in this case we have an amazing 12-page letter the woman read in court. She said in part:
“It is enough to be suffering. It is another thing to have someone ruthlessly working to diminish the gravity of validity of this suffering.”
“I showed up an hour late to work every morning, excused myself to cry in the stairwells, I can tell you all the best places in that building to cry where no one can hear you.”
“You bought me a ticket to a planet where I lived by myself.”
“What has he done to demonstrate that he deserves a break? He has only apologized for drinking and has yet to define what he did to me as sexual assault, he has revictimized me continually, relentlessly.”
“… thank you to the two men who saved me, who I have yet to meet. I sleep with two bicycles that I drew taped above my bed to remind myself there are heroes in this story. That we are looking out for one another.”
“And finally, to girls everywhere, I am with you. On nights when you feel alone, I am with you. When people doubt you or dismiss you, I am with you. I fought everyday for you. So never stop fighting, I believe you. As the author Anne Lamott once wrote, ‘Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.'”
– Abagond, 2016.
- External links:
- compare and contrast:
- white privilege
- The danger signs of a rapist