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A California judge is facing widespread outrage over his decision to give a former Stanford University student a six-month jail sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.
Brock Turner was convicted of three charges of felony sexual assault after raping the woman behind a campus dumpster, according to CNN.
While Turner faced a maximum of 14 years in state prison, prosecutors had asked that he be sentenced to six years in prison, the cable news network reported. But Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky handed down a far more lenient sentence of 6 months in a county jail and probation.
Incredibly, the judge was worried that prison might be a disturbing environment for the rapist.
“A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him,” Persky said. “I think he will not be a danger to others.”
At the center of the controversy is a letter from Turner’s father, who described the rape as “20 minutes of action,” and a statement from Turner himself that was short on remorse and focused more on all that he lost because of the incident than what his victim may have lost.
In many ways, Turner blamed the “party culture” on college campuses for his actions.
Here’s a portion of his statement:
“I want to show that people’s lives can be destroyed by drinking and making poor decisions while doing so. One needs to recognize the influence that peer pressure and the attitude of having to fit in can have on someone. One decision has the potential to change your entire life. I know I can impact and change people’s attitudes towards the culture surrounded by binge drinking and sexual promiscuity that protrudes through what people think is at the core of being a college student.
I want to demolish the assumption that drinking and partying are what make up a college lifestyle. I made a mistake, I drank too much, and my decisions hurt someone. But I never ever meant to intentionally hurt [redacted]. My poor decision making and excessive drinking hurt someone that night and I wish I could just take it all back.”
But there is another letter … from the victim, who “described her ordeal in 12 searing pages,” CNN noted.
The woman read her letter at Turner’s sentencing last Thursday, describing the “severe impact” the assault had on her.
She told BuzzFeed News she was disappointed with the “gentle” sentence Turner received and provided them with her full statement, which can be read HERE.
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