On January 18, 2015, a woman was brutally assaulted on Stanford’s campus. Brock Allen Turner, who at the time was a Stanford freshman, was found thrusting himself into an unconscious woman on the ground behind a dumpster. Two Stanford graduate students witnessed the incident and stopped the perpetrator. In March 2016, Turner was found guilty on three felony counts, facing a punishment of a maximum of 14 years in state prison. On June 2, 2016, Turner was sentenced to only six months in county jail and three years probation. Now, he is expected to serve only three months with good behavior.
This was despite having eye witnesses, enough physical evidence and the jury convicting him on three counts of felony. The judge, Aaron Persky, when reading out the sentence mentioned , “A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him,” “I think he will not be a danger to others.”
We, at Manavi are appalled by the judgement held out to Brock Turner. Brock turner is a rapist and he got off easy.
One in six women and one in 33 men in the United States have been the victims of attempted or completed rape in their lifetimes, according to the Department of Justice. But these are just number of victims who are reporting the crime. More often victims do not come forward with the fear of being judged on their credibility. And also because sometimes going through the whole court process feels like being re-victimized.
While this case, like many others, demonstrates the problems of the legal system and the prevalence of rape culture, there are still ways we can have our voice heard.
Manavi stands in support and in solidarity with all survivors and those protesting against campus sexual assault and the failures of campus authorities to hold perpetrators accountable.
Click here to sign a petition on Change.org asking for the removal of Judge Persky.