If you haven’t heard of Brock Turner and the Stanford Rape Case already, all you have to do is look up the latest news headline. Brock Turner is a 20-year old former student and swimmer at Stanford University. Turner was convicted in March of this year, for sexually assaulting a 23-year old woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous, back in January of 2015. According to the police report, on January 18, 2015 a man on top of a woman were spotted near a dumpster. The man fled as soon as the two men approached him, one of the men was able to catch him, and hold him, until the police arrived. The woman was unconscious , and partially naked on the ground. Turner and the woman had attended the same party that night and were both intoxicated. When questioned, Turner initially admitted to having sex with the woman, but claimed it was consensual. According to the victim’s testimony, she had no memory of the assault and has suffered much distress because of the attack. The woman wrote a letter which was posted on BuzzFeed a few days after she shared it in her testimony. In the letter the woman stated the impact that the rape has made on her life, she wrote that she puts spoons in the freezer, so when she wakes up each day with puffy eyes from crying, she could place the spoons near her eyes to decrease the swelling so she can see.
Turner faced a maximum sentence of 14 years for three felony charges: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated woman, sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object, and sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object (theatlantic.com). The prosecutor initially asked for a six year sentence ((theatlantic.com). But the judge claimed that a “harsher” sentence would make a “sever impact” on Turner (theatlantic.com). Simply having to write out the judges statement is hard for me. As a stated in my last article The Hunting Ground: The Epidemic of Rape, when we hear about a rape in our society, the first question that often comes up is: what state was the woman in? Or what was she doing or wearing? Our society doesn’t think to question the person who had the control and raped an innocent victim.
When I first heard about this case I was very surprised that a sexual offender from a college campus was being prosecuted. As I mentioned in my previous article, students who commit rape on campus are rarely prosecuted even when the victim does report it. I actually had hope that our society learned something from the epidemic of rape on college campuses. I quickly lost that hope when they announced that Turner was sentenced to six-months in prison, Misdemeanor charges have longer sentences than that. How can the judge allow a sex offender to be back on the streets in six months. Another thing I found appalling was the letter that Turner’s father wrote. Several quotes that really stand out in the letter are “how his son was educating other college-aged students about the dangers of alcohol consumption and promiscuity” also that the night “destroyed his life” and his son’s “ 20 minutes of action”. As a parent, your job is to teach your child of what is right and what is wrong. How can you teach your child that it is okay to rape a woman as long as she is intoxicated. A victim is never at fault for being sexually assaulted. Drinking is not a crime, no one should expect to be assaulted after they have drank. Clearly, our society but more importantly, our justice system.
Nicole is a psychology student at the University of Central Florida. She has always had a passion for psychology and helping people overcome the challenges in their loves. She especially has a passion for working with children and families. She plans on continuing on to receive her PhD in clinical psychology specializing in children and their development.