Brock Allen Turner, a 20-year-old Stanford University dropout who raped an unconscious woman behind a dumpster, will spend no more than a few months in jail for the crime.
Citing the defendant’s age and lack of prior offenses, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky said a longer sentence would have “a severe impact” on the former champion swimmer. Turner had faced up to a decade in prison after his March conviction, but the judge gave him six months. He’s expected to serve only three.
At the June 2 sentencing hearing, the victim—a 23-year-old Palo Alto woman known pseudonymously as Emily Doe—read a gut-wrenching account about the “severe impact” Turner’s assault had on her, and how his attorneys went “to any length to discredit me, invalidate me, and explain why it was OK to hurt me.”
The short sentence ignited fierce public backlash and calls to oust Persky. Civil rights activist Shaun King said the judge, the rapist and the justice system that gave Turner the benefit of the doubt “embody the worst of America.”
Outrage only intensified after a local columnist blamed the assault on a “culture of drinking,” while supporting the short jail stay over a longer term in state prison. Adding insult to injury, the defendant’s father complained that his son’s life had been ruined by “20 minutes of action,” that he could no longer enjoy a nice steak because of his status as a registered sex offender. Meanwhile, one of Turner’s childhood friends blamed the rape accusations on political correctness.
District Attorney Jeff Rosen could not have disagreed more with the judge’s decision, but does not believe that he should be removed from the bench.
“The punishment does not fit the crime,” he said. “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. Campus rape is no different than off-campus rape. Rape is rape. And I will prosecute it as such.”
Over the weekend, the victim’s 7,244-word courtroom statement addressing the role of privilege in the trial and how the legal system deals with sexual assault racked up more than 5 million views on Buzzfeed. This morning, CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield spent the better part of an hour reading those same words live on air.
.@CNNAshleigh: We will spend most of this hour sharing a rape victim's letter to her attacker https://t.co/PPDPXNIkFm
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) June 6, 2016
“You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me,” the victim’s statement begins, “and that’s why we’re here today.”
She details her experience before, during and after the attack, which took place after a frat party in January last year. Two Swedish grad students on bicycles encountered Turner thrusting on top of the victim’s limp, naked body. When he tried to run off, the grad students caught and held him until police arrived.
The woman says she woke up in the hospital the next morning covered in pine needles and dirt, unsure of why she was there.
“On that morning, all that I was told was that I had been found behind a dumpster, potentially penetrated by a stranger, and that I should get retested for HIV because results don’t always show up immediately,” she wrote. “But for now, I should go home and get back to my normal life. Imagine stepping back into the world with only that information.”
She continues her statement, describing the pointed, personal questions from defense attorneys about what she wore that night and whether she has a history of drinking, partying and promiscuity. The entire ordeal, from rape to lenient sentencing, she says, privileged the perpetrator over the victim. That Turner gave up a swimming scholarship at a private university shouldn’t lessen the severity of his punishment, she continues.
The defendant’s father effectively proved the victim’s point about privilege in trying to vouch for his son. Life as a registered sex offender and imprisonment are “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20-plus years of life,” the dad, Dan Turner, wrote.
#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
Mercury News columnist Scott Herhold sided with the defense, arguing in a column that Turner should get off with a light sentence given his apparent remorse, the “co-conspirator” of campus drinking and his record of “real accomplishment.”
The article, which took the opposite view of the Merc’s editorial board, got destroyed on social media, where people called the author a rape apologist.
Merc's @ScottHerhold's Stanford-rape column wildly offensive, tantamount to saying "she deserved it." How did this make it past editor?
— Nick Miller (@NickMiller510) June 3, 2016
In a letter to the editor, the National Women’s Political Caucus wrote that Herhold’s language sends a dangerous message.
We agree with the Merc’s op-ed on Brock Turner’s sentence being too light. Sexual assault is one of the most under-reported crimes, with 68 percent left unreported. But even when the crime is reported, it is unlikely to lead to an arrest and prosecution. Factoring in unreported rapes, only about 2 percent of rapists will ever serve a day in prison. Why? Because survivors’ accounts of their assaults are scrutinized to the point of re-victimization and (like here) perpetrators face inadequate consequences. So, when Scott Herhold writes that we should consider "the severity of this case for [Turner]", how Turner’s career now has "a permanent blight", "the woman was so drunk she does not remember what happened" and (most offensively) points out that she testified that she previously blacked out from drinking; he excuses Turner’s behavior. Words matter. This language sends a message that she deserved it when she really deserved justice.
President, National Women's Political Caucus, Silicon Valley chapter
The argument many have made, including the victim, is that the crime was sexual assault—not drinking.
“Alcohol is not an excuse,” the victim wrote. “Is it a factor? Yes. But alcohol was not the one who stripped me, fingered me, had my head dragging against the ground, with me almost fully naked. Having too much to drink was an amateur mistake that I admit to, but it is not criminal. Everyone in this room has had a night where they have regretted drinking too much, or knows someone close to them who has had a night where they have regretted drinking too much. Regretting drinking is not the same as regretting sexual assault. We were both drunk, the difference is I did not take off your pants and underwear, touch you inappropriately, and run away. That’s the difference.”
Below is the full statement read in court by the victim:
If it is all right, for the majority of this statement I would like to address the defendant directly.
You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today.
On January 17th, 2015, it was a quiet Saturday night at home. My dad made some dinner and I sat at the table with my younger sister who was visiting for the weekend. I was working full time and it was approaching my bed time. I planned to stay at home by myself, watch some TV and read, while she went to a party with her friends. Then, I decided it was my only night with her, I had nothing better to do, so why not, there’s a dumb party ten minutes from my house, I would go, dance weird like a fool, and embarrass my younger sister. On the way there, I joked that undergrad guys would have braces. My sister teased me for wearing a beige cardigan to a frat party like a librarian. I called myself “big mama”, because I knew I’d be the oldest one there. I made silly faces, let my guard down, and drank liquor too fast not factoring in that my tolerance had significantly lowered since college.
The next thing I remember I was in a gurney in a hallway. I had dried blood and bandages on the backs of my hands and elbow. I thought maybe I had fallen and was in an admin office on campus. I was very calm and wondering where my sister was. A deputy explained I had been assaulted. I still remained calm, assured he was speaking to the wrong person. I knew no one at this party. When I was finally allowed to use the restroom, I pulled down the hospital pants they had given me, went to pull down my underwear, and felt nothing. I still remember the feeling of my hands touching my skin and grabbing nothing. I looked down and there was nothing. The thin piece of fabric, the only thing between my vagina and anything else, was missing and everything inside me was silenced. I still don’t have words for that feeling. In order to keep breathing, I thought maybe the policemen used scissors to cut them off for evidence.
Then, I felt pine needles scratching the back of my neck and started pulling them out my hair. I thought maybe, the pine needles had fallen from a tree onto my head. My brain was talking my gut into not collapsing. Because my gut was saying, help me, help me.
I shuffled from room to room with a blanket wrapped around me, pine needles trailing behind me, I left a little pile in every room I sat in. I was asked to sign papers that said “Rape Victim” and I thought something has really happened. My clothes were confiscated and I stood naked while the nurses held a ruler to various abrasions on my body and photographed them. The three of us worked to comb the pine needles out of my hair, six hands to fill one paper bag. To calm me down, they said it’s just the flora and fauna, flora and fauna. I had multiple swabs inserted into my vagina and anus, needles for shots, pills, had a nikon pointed right into my spread legs. I had long, pointed beaks inside me and had my vagina smeared with cold, blue paint to check for abrasions.
After a few hours of this, they let me shower. I stood there examining my body beneath the stream of water and decided, I don’t want my body anymore. I was terrified of it, I didn’t know what had been in it, if it had been contaminated, who had touched it. I wanted to take off my body like a jacket and leave it at the hospital with everything else.
On that morning, all that I was told was that I had been found behind a dumpster, potentially penetrated by a stranger, and that I should get retested for HIV because results don’t always show up immediately. But for now, I should go home and get back to my normal life. Imagine stepping back into the world with only that information. They gave me huge hugs, and then I walked out of the hospital into the parking lot wearing the new sweatshirt and sweatpants they provided me, as they had only allowed me to keep my necklace and shoes.
My sister picked me up, face wet from tears and contorted in anguish. Instinctively and immediately, I wanted to take away her pain. I smiled at her, I told her to look at me, I’m right here, I’m okay, everything’s okay, I’m right here. My hair is washed and clean, they gave me the strangest shampoo, calm down, and look at me. Look at these funny new sweatpants and sweatshirt, I look like a P.E. teacher, let’s go home, let’s eat something. She did not know that beneath my sweats, I had scratches and bandages on my skin, my vagina was sore and had become a strange, dark color from all the prodding, my underwear was missing, and I felt too empty to continue to speak. That I was also afraid, that I was also devastated. That day we drove home and for hours my sister held me.
My boyfriend did not know what happened, but called that day and said, “I was really worried about you last night, you scared me, did you make it home okay?” I was horrified. That’s when I learned I had called him that night in my blackout, left an incomprehensible voicemail, that we had also spoken on the phone, but I was slurring so heavily he was scared for me, that he repeatedly told me to go find my sister. Again, he asked me, “What happened last night? Did you make it home okay?” I said yes, and hung up to cry.
I was not ready to tell my boyfriend or parents that actually, I may have been raped behind a dumpster, but I don’t know by who or when or how. If I told them, I would see the fear on their faces, and mine would multiply by tenfold, so instead I pretended the whole thing wasn’t real.
I tried to push it out of my mind, but it was so heavy I didn’t talk, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t interact with anyone. After work, I would drive to a secluded place to scream. I didn’t talk, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t interact with anyone, and I became isolated from the ones I loved most. For one week after the incident, I didn’t get any calls or updates about that night or what happened to me. The only symbol that proved that it hadn’t just been a bad dream, was the sweatshirt from the hospital in my drawer.
One day, I was at work, scrolling through the news on my phone, and came across an article. In it, I read and learned for the first time about how I was found unconscious, with my hair disheveled, long necklace wrapped around my neck, bra pulled out of my dress, dress pulled off over my shoulders and pulled up above my waist, that I was butt naked all the way down to my boots, legs spread apart, and had been penetrated by a foreign object by someone I did not recognize. This was how I learned what happened to me, sitting at my desk reading the news at work. I learned what happened to me the same time everyone else in the world learned what happened to me. That’s when the pine needles in my hair made sense, they didn’t fall from a tree. He had taken off my underwear, his fingers had been inside of me. I don’t even know this person. I still don’t know this person. When I read about me like this, I said, this can’t be me. This can’t be me. I could not digest or accept any of this information. I could not imagine my family having to read about this online. I kept reading. In the next paragraph, I read something that I will never forgive; I read that according to him, I liked it. I liked it. Again, I do not have words for these feelings.
At the bottom of the article, after I learned about the graphic details of my own sexual assault, the article listed his swimming times. She was found breathing, unresponsive with her underwear six inches away from her bare stomach curled in fetal position. By the way, he’s really good at swimming. Throw in my mile time if that’s what we’re doing. I’m good at cooking, put that in there, I think the end is where you list your extra-curriculars to cancel out all the sickening things that’ve happened.
The night the news came out I sat my parents down and told them that I had been assaulted, to not look at the news because it’s upsetting, just know that I’m okay, I’m right here, and I’m okay. But halfway through telling them, my mom had to hold me because I could no longer stand up. I was not okay.
The night after it happened, he said he didn’t know my name, said he wouldn’t be able to identify my face in a lineup, didn’t mention any dialogue between us, no words, only dancing and kissing. Dancing is a cute term; was it snapping fingers and twirling dancing, or just bodies grinding up against each other in a crowded room? I wonder if kissing was just faces sloppily pressed up against each other? When the detective asked if he had planned on taking me back to his dorm, he said no. When the detective asked how we ended up behind the dumpster, he said he didn’t know. He admitted to kissing other girls at that party, one of whom was my own sister who pushed him away. He admitted to wanting to hook up with someone. I was the wounded antelope of the herd, completely alone and vulnerable, physically unable to fend for myself, and he chose me. Sometimes I think, if I hadn’t gone, then this never would’ve happened. But then I realized, it would have happened, just to somebody else. You were about to enter four years of access to drunk girls and parties, and if this is the foot you started off on, then it is right you did not continue. The night after it happened, he said he thought I liked it because I rubbed his back. A back rub. Never mentioned me voicing consent, never mentioned us speaking, a back rub.
One more time, in public news, I learned that my ass and vagina were completely exposed outside, my breasts had been groped, fingers had been jabbed inside me along with pine needles and debris, my bare skin and head had been rubbing against the ground behind a dumpster, while an erect freshman was humping my half naked, unconscious body. But I don’t remember, so how do I prove I didn’t like it.
I thought there’s no way this is going to trial; there were witnesses, there was dirt in my body, he ran but was caught. He’s going to settle, formally apologize, and we will both move on. Instead, I was told he hired a powerful attorney, expert witnesses, private investigators who were going to try and find details about my personal life to use against me, find loopholes in my story to invalidate me and my sister, in order to show that this sexual assault was in fact a misunderstanding. That he was going to go to any length to convince the world he had simply been confused.
I was not only told that I was assaulted, I was told that because I couldn’t remember, I technically could not prove it was unwanted. And that distorted me, damaged me, almost broke me. It is the saddest type of confusion to be told I was assaulted and nearly raped, blatantly out in the open, but we don’t know if it counts as assault yet. I had to fight for an entire year to make it clear that there was something wrong with this situation.
When I was told to be prepared in case we didn’t win, I said, I can’t prepare for that. He was guilty the minute I woke up. No one can talk me out of the hurt he caused me. Worst of all, I was warned, because he now knows you don’t remember, he is going to get to write the script. He can say whatever he wants and no one can contest it. I had no power, I had no voice, I was defenseless. My memory loss would be used against me. My testimony was weak, was incomplete, and I was made to believe that perhaps, I am not enough to win this. That’s so damaging. His attorney constantly reminded the jury, the only one we can believe is Brock, because she doesn’t remember. That helplessness was traumatizing.
Instead of taking time to heal, I was taking time to recall the night in excruciating detail, in order to prepare for the attorney’s questions that would be invasive, aggressive, and designed to steer me off course, to contradict myself, my sister, phrased in ways to manipulate my answers. Instead of his attorney saying, Did you notice any abrasions? He said, You didn’t notice any abrasions, right? This was a game of strategy, as if I could be tricked out of my own worth. The sexual assault had been so clear, but instead, here I was at the trial, answering question like:
How old are you? How much do you weigh? What did you eat that day? Well what did you have for dinner? Who made dinner? Did you drink with dinner? No, not even water? When did you drink? How much did you drink? What container did you drink out of? Who gave you the drink? How much do you usually drink? Who dropped you off at this party? At what time? But where exactly? What were you wearing? Why were you going to this party? What’ d you do when you got there? Are you sure you did that? But what time did you do that? What does this text mean? Who were you texting? When did you urinate? Where did you urinate? With whom did you urinate outside? Was your phone on silent when your sister called? Do you remember silencing it? Really because on page 53 I’d like to point out that you said it was set to ring. Did you drink in college? You said you were a party animal? How many times did you black out? Did you party at frats? Are you serious with your boyfriend? Are you sexually active with him? When did you start dating? Would you ever cheat? Do you have a history of cheating? What do you mean when you said you wanted to reward him? Do you remember what time you woke up? Were you wearing your cardigan? What color was your cardigan? Do you remember any more from that night? No? Okay, we’ll let Brock fill it in.
I was pummeled with narrowed, pointed questions that dissected my personal life, love life, past life, family life, inane questions, accumulating trivial details to try and find an excuse for this guy who didn’t even take the time to ask me for my name, who had me naked a handful of minutes after seeing me. After a physical assault, I was assaulted with questions designed to attack me, to say see, her facts don’t line up, she’s out of her mind, she’s practically an alcoholic, she probably wanted to hook up, he’s like an athlete right, they were both drunk, whatever, the hospital stuff she remembers is after the fact, why take it into account, Brock has a lot at stake so he’s having a really hard time right now.
And then it came time for him to testify. This is where I became revictimized. I want to remind you, the night after it happened he said he never planned to take me back to his dorm. He said he didn’t know why we were behind a dumpster. He got up to leave because he wasn’t feeling well when he was suddenly chased and attacked. Then he learned I could not remember.
So one year later, as predicted, a new dialogue emerged. Brock had a strange new story, almost sounded like a poorly written young adult novel with kissing and dancing and hand holding and lovingly tumbling onto the ground, and most importantly in this new story, there was suddenly consent. One year after the incident, he remembered, oh yeah, by the way she actually said yes, to everything, so.
He said he had asked if I wanted to dance. Apparently I said yes. He’d asked if I wanted to go to his dorm, I said yes. Then he asked if he could finger me and I said yes. Most guys don’t ask, Can I finger you? Usually there’s a natural progression of things, unfolding consensually, not a Q and A. But apparently I granted full permission. He’s in the clear.
Even in this story, there’s barely any dialogue; I only said a total of three words before he had me half naked on the ground. I have never been penetrated after three words. He didn’t claim to hear me speak one full sentence that night, so in the news when it says we “met”, I’m not sure I would go so far as to say that. Future reference, if you are confused about whether a girl can consent, see if she can speak an entire sentence. You couldn’t even do that. Just one coherent string of words. If she can’t do that, then no. Don’t touch her, just no. Not maybe, just no. Where was the confusion? This is common sense, human decency.
According to him, the only reason we were on the ground was because I fell down. Note; if a girl falls help her get back up. If she is too drunk to even walk and falls, do not mount her, hump her, take off her underwear, and insert your hand inside her vagina. If a girl falls help her up. If she is wearing a cardigan over her dress don't take it off so that you can touch her breasts. Maybe she is cold, maybe that's why she wore the cardigan. If her bare ass and legs are rubbing the pinecones and needles, while the weight of you pushes into her, get off her.
Next in the story, two people approached you. You ran because you said you felt scared. I argue that you were scared because you’d be caught, not because you were scared of two terrifying Swedish grad students. The idea that you thought you were being attacked out of the blue was ludicrous. That it had nothing to do with you being on top my unconscious body. You were caught red handed, with no explanation. When they tackled you why didn’t say, “Stop! Everything’s okay, go ask her, she’s right over there, she’ll tell you.” I mean you had just asked for my consent, right? I was awake, right? When the policeman arrived and interviewed the evil Swede who tackled you, he was crying so hard he couldn’t speak because of what he’d seen. Also, if you really did think they were dangerous, you just abandoned a half-naked girl to run and save yourself. No matter which way you frame it, it doesn't make sense.
Your attorney has repeatedly pointed out, well we don’t know exactly when she became unconscious. And you’re right, maybe I was still fluttering my eyes and wasn’t completely limp yet, fine. His guilt did not depend on him knowing the exact second that I became unconscious, that is never what this was about. I was slurring, too drunk to consent way before I was on the ground. I should have never been touched in the first place. Brock stated, “At no time did I see that she was not responding. If at any time I thought she was not responding, I would have stopped immediately.” Here’s the thing; if your plan was to stop only when I was literally unresponsive, then you still do not understand. You didn’t even stop when I was unconscious anyway! Someone else stopped you. Two guys on bikes noticed I wasn’t moving in the dark and had to tackle you. How did you not notice while on top of me?
You said, you would have stopped and gotten help. You say that, but I want you to explain how you would’ve helped me, step by step, walk me through this. I want to know, if those evil Swedes had not found me, how the night would have played out. I am asking you; Would you have pulled my underwear back on over my boots? Untangled the necklace wrapped around my neck? Closed my legs, covered me? Tucked my bra back into my dress? Would you have helped me pick the needles from my hair? Asked if the abrasions on my neck and bottom hurt? Would you then go find a friend and say, Will you help me get her somewhere warm and soft? I don’t sleep when I think about the way it could have gone if the Swedes had never come. What would have happened to me? That’s what you’ll never have a good answer for, that’s what you can’t explain even after a year.
To sit under oath and inform all of us, that yes I wanted it, yes I permitted it, and that you are the true victim attacked by guys for reasons unknown to you is sick, is demented, is selfish, is stupid. It shows that you were willing to go to any length, to discredit me, invalidate me, and explain why it was okay to hurt me. You tried unyieldingly to save yourself, your reputation, at my expense.
My family had to see pictures of my head strapped to a gurney full of pine needles, of my body in the dirt with my eyes closed, dress hiked up, limbs limp in the dark. And then even after that, my family had to listen to your attorney say, the pictures were after the fact, we can dismiss them. To say, yes her nurse confirmed there was redness and abrasions inside her, but that’s what happens when you finger someone, and he’s already admitted to that. To listen to him use my own sister against me. To listen him attempt to paint of a picture of me, the seductive party animal, as if somehow that would make it so that I had this coming for me. To listen to him say I sounded drunk on the phone because I’m silly and that’s my goofy way of speaking. To point out that in the voicemail, I said I would reward my boyfriend and we all know what I was thinking. I assure you my rewards program is non-transferable, especially to any nameless man that approaches me.
The point is, this is everything my family and I endured during the trial. This is everything I had to sit through silently, taking it, while he shaped the evening. It is enough to be suffering. It is another thing to have someone ruthlessly working to diminish the gravity and validity of this suffering. But in the end, his unsupported statements and his attorney’s twisted logic fooled no one. The truth won, the truth spoke for itself.
You are guilty. Twelve jurors convicted you guilty of three felony counts beyond reasonable doubt, that’s twelve votes per count, thirty-six yeses confirming guilt, that’s one hundred percent, unanimous guilt. And I thought finally it is over, finally he will own up to what he did, truly apologize, we will both move on and get better. Then I read your statement.
If you are hoping that one of my organs will implode from anger and I will die, I’m almost there. You are very close. Assault is not an accident. This is not a story of another drunk college hookup with poor decision making. Somehow, you still don’t get it. Somehow, you still sound confused.
I will now take this opportunity to read portions of the defendant’s statement and respond to them.
You said, Being drunk I just couldn’t make the best decisions and neither could she.
Alcohol is not an excuse. Is it a factor? Yes. But alcohol was not the one who stripped me, fingered me, had my head dragging against the ground, with me almost fully naked. Having too much to drink was an amateur mistake that I admit to, but it is not criminal. Everyone in this room has had a night where they have regretted drinking too much, or knows someone close to them who has had a night where they have regretted drinking too much. Regretting drinking is not the same as regretting sexual assault. We were both drunk, the difference is I did not take off your pants and underwear, touch you inappropriately, and run away. That’s the difference.
You said, If I wanted to get to know her, I should have asked for her number, rather than asking her to go back to my room.
I’m not mad because you didn’t ask for my number. Even if you did know me, I would not want be in this situation. My own boyfriend knows me, but if he asked to finger me behind a dumpster, I would slap him. No girl wants to be in this situation. Nobody. I don’t care if you know their phone number or not.
You said, I stupidly thought it was okay for me to do what everyone around me was doing, which was drinking. I was wrong.
Again, you were not wrong for drinking. Everyone around you was not sexually assaulting me. You were wrong for doing what nobody else was doing, which was pushing your erect dick in your pants against my naked, defenseless body concealed in a dark area, where partygoers could no longer see or protect me, and own my sister could not find me. Sipping fireball is not your crime. Peeling off and discarding my underwear like a candy wrapper to insert your finger into my body, is where you went wrong. Why am I still explaining this.
You said, During the trial I didn’t want to victimize her at all. That was just my attorney and his way of approaching the case.
Your attorney is not your scapegoat, he represents you. Did your attorney say some incredulously infuriating, degrading things? Absolutely. He said you had an erection, because it was cold. I have no words.
You said, you are in the process of establishing a program for high school and college students in which you speak about your experience to “speak out against the college campus drinking culture and the sexual promiscuity that goes along with that.”
Speak out against campus drinking culture. That’s what we’re speaking out against? You think that’s what I’ve spent the past year fighting for? Not awareness about campus sexual assault, or rape, or learning to recognize consent. Campus drinking culture. Down with Jack Daniels. Down with Skyy Vodka. If you want talk to high school kids about drinking go to an AA meeting. You realize, having a drinking problem is different than drinking and then forcefully trying to have sex with someone? Show men how to respect women, not how to drink less.
Drinking culture and the sexual promiscuity that goes along with that. Goes along with that, like a side effect, like fries on the side of your order. Where does promiscuity even come into play? I don’t see headlines that read, Brock Turner, Guilty of drinking too much and the sexual promiscuity that goes along with that. Campus Sexaul Assault. There’s your first powerpoint slide.
I have done enough explaining. You do not get to shrug your shoulders and be confused anymore. You do not get to pretend that there were no red flags. You do not get to not know why you ran. You have been convicted of violating me with malicious intent, and all you can admit to is consuming alcohol. Do not talk about the sad way your life was upturned because alcohol made you do bad things. Figure out how to take responsibility for your own conduct.
Lastly you said, I want to show people that one night of drinking can ruin a life.
Ruin a life, one life, yours, you forgot about mine. Let me rephrase for you, 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.
See one thing we have in common is that we were both unable to get up in the morning. I am no stranger to suffering. You made me a victim. In newspapers my name was “unconscious intoxicated woman”, ten syllables, and nothing more than that. For a while, I believed that that was all I was. I had to force myself to relearn my real name, my identity. To relearn that this is not all that I am. That I am not just a drunk victim at a frat party found behind a dumpster, while you are the All-American swimmer at a top university, innocent until proven guilty, with so much at stake. I am a human being who has been irreversibly hurt, who waited a year to figure out if I was worth something.
My independence, natural joy, gentleness, and steady lifestyle I had been enjoying became distorted beyond recognition. I became closed off, angry, self-deprecating, tired, irritable, empty. The isolation at times was unbearable. You cannot give me back the life I had before that night either. While you worry about your shattered reputation, I refrigerated spoons every night so when I woke up, and my eyes were puffy from crying, I would hold the spoons to my eyes to lessen the swelling so that I could see. 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, the pain became so bad that I had to tell my boss I was leaving, I needed time because continuing day to day was not possible. I used my savings to go as far away as I could possibly be.
I can’t sleep alone at night without having a light on, like a five year old, because I have nightmares of being touched where I cannot wake up, I did this thing where I waited until the sun came up and I felt safe enough to sleep. For three months, I went to bed at six o’clock in the morning.
I used to pride myself on my independence, now I am afraid to go on walks in the evening, to attend social events with drinking among friends where I should be comfortable being. I have become a little barnacle always needing to be at someone’s side, to have my boyfriend standing next to me, sleeping beside me, protecting me. It is embarrassing how feeble I feel, how timidly I move through life, always guarded, ready to defend myself, ready to be angry.
You have no idea how hard I have worked to rebuild parts of me that are still weak. It took me eight months to even talk about what happened. I could no longer connect with friends, with everyone around me. I would scream at my boyfriend, my own family whenever they brought this up. You never let me forget what happened to me. At the of end of the hearing, the trial, I was too tired to speak. I would leave drained, silent. I would go home turn off my phone and for days I would not speak. You bought me a ticket to a planet where I lived by myself. Every time a new article come out, I lived with the paranoia that my entire hometown would find out and know me as the girl who got assaulted. I didn’t want anyone’s pity and am still learning to accept victim as part of my identity. You made my own hometown an uncomfortable place to be.
Someday, you can pay me back for my ambulance ride and therapy. But you cannot give me back my sleepless nights. The way I have broken down sobbing uncontrollably if I’m watching a movie and a woman is harmed, to say it lightly, this experience has expanded my empathy for other victims. I have lost weight from stress, when people would comment I told them I’ve been running a lot lately. There are times I did not want to be touched. I have to relearn that I am not fragile, I am capable, I am wholesome, not just livid and weak.
I want to say this. All the crying, the hurting you have imposed on me, I can take it. But when I see my younger sister hurting, when she is unable to keep up in school, when she is deprived of joy, when she is not sleeping, when she is crying so hard on the phone she is barely breathing, telling me over and over she is sorry for leaving me alone that night, sorry sorry sorry, when she feels more guilt than you, then I do not forgive you. That night I had called her to try and find her, but you found me first. Your attorney's closing statement began, “My sister said she was fine and who knows her better than her sister.” You tried to use my own sister against me. Your points of attack were so weak, so low, it was almost embarrassing. You do not touch her.
If you think I was spared, came out unscathed, that today I ride off into sunset, while you suffer the greatest blow, you are mistaken. Nobody wins. We have all been devastated, we have all been trying to find some meaning in all of this suffering.
You should have never done this to me. Secondly, you should have never made me fight so long to tell you, you should have never done this to me. But here we are. The damage is done, no one can undo it. And now we both have a choice. We can let this destroy us, I can remain angry and hurt and you can be in denial, or we can face it head on, I accept the pain, you accept the punishment, and we move on.
Your life is not over, you have decades of years ahead to rewrite your story. The world is huge, it is so much bigger than Palo Alto and Stanford, and you will make a space for yourself in it where you can be useful and happy. Right now your name is tainted, so I challenge you to make a new name for yourself, to do something so good for the world, it blows everyone away. You have a brain and a voice and a heart. Use them wisely. You possess immense love from your family. That alone can pull you out of anything. Mine has held me up through all of this. Yours will hold you and you will go on.
I believe, that one day, you will understand all of this better. I hope you will become a better more honest person who can properly use this story to prevent another story like this from ever happening again. I fully support your journey to healing, to rebuilding your life, because that is the only way you’ll begin to help others.
Now to address the sentencing. When I read the probation officer’s report, I was in disbelief, consumed by anger which eventually quieted down to profound sadness. My statements have been slimmed down to distortion and taken out of context. I fought hard during this trial and will not have the outcome minimized by a probation officer who attempted to evaluate my current state and my wishes in a fifteen minute conversation, the majority of which was spent answering questions I had about the legal system. The context is also important. Brock had yet to issue a statement, and I had not read his remarks.
My life has been on hold for over a year, a year of anger, anguish and uncertainty, until a jury of my peers rendered a judgment that validated the injustices I had endured. Had Brock admitted guilt and remorse and offered to settle early on, I would have considered a lighter sentence, respecting his honesty, grateful to be able to move our lives forward. Instead he took the risk of going to trial, added insult to injury and forced me to relive the hurt as details about my personal life and sexual assault were brutally dissected before the public. He pushed me and my family through a year of inexplicable, unnecessary suffering, and should face the consequences of challenging his crime, of putting my pain into question, of making us wait so long for justice.
I told the probation officer I do not want Brock to rot away in prison. I did not say he does not deserve to be behind bars. The probation officer’s recommendation of a year or less in county jail is a soft time-out, a mockery of the seriousness of his assaults, and of the consequences of the pain I have been forced to endure. I also told the probation officer that what I truly wanted was for Brock to get it, to understand and admit to his wrongdoing.
Unfortunately, after reading the defendant’s statement, I am severely disappointed and feel that he has failed to exhibit sincere remorse or responsibility for his conduct. I fully respected his right to a trial, but even after twelve jurors unanimously convicted him guilty of three felonies, all he has admitted to doing is ingesting alcohol. Someone who cannot take full accountability for his actions does not deserve a mitigating sentence. It is deeply offensive that he would try and dilute rape with a suggestion of promiscuity. By definition rape is the absence of promiscuity, rape is the absence of consent, and it perturbs me deeply that he can’t even see that distinction.
The probation officer factored in that the defendant is youthful and has no prior convictions. In my opinion, he is old enough to know what he did was wrong. When you are eighteen in this country you can go to war. When you are nineteen, you are old enough to pay the consequences for attempting to rape someone. He is young, but he is old enough to know better.
As this is a first offense I can see where leniency would beckon. On the other hand, as a society, we cannot forgive everyone’s first sexual assault or digital rape. It doesn’t make sense. The seriousness of rape has to be communicated clearly, we should not create a culture that suggests we learn that rape is wrong through trial and error. The consequences of sexual assault needs to be severe enough that people feel enough fear to exercise good judgment even if they are drunk, severe enough to be preventative. The fact that Brock was a star athlete at a prestigious university should not be seen as an entitlement to leniency, but as an opportunity to send a strong cultural message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class.
The probation officer weighed the fact that he has surrendered a hard earned swimming scholarship. If I had been sexually assaulted by an un-athletic guy from a community college, what would his sentence be? If a first time offender from an underprivileged background was accused of three felonies and displayed no accountability for his actions other than drinking, what would his sentence be? How fast he swims does not lessen the impact of what happened to me.
The Probation Officer has stated that this case, when compared to other crimes of similar nature, may be considered less serious due to the defendant’s level of intoxication. It felt serious. That’s all I’m going to say.
He is a lifetime sex registrant. That doesn’t expire. Just like what he did to me doesn’t expire, doesn’t just go away after a set number of years. It stays with me, it’s part of my identity, it has forever changed the way I carry myself, the way I live the rest of my life.
A year has gone by and he has had lots of time on his hands. Has he been seeing a psychologist? What has he done in this past year to show he’s been progressing? If he says he wants to implement programs, what has he done to show for it?
Throughout incarceration I hope he is provided with appropriate therapy and resources to rebuild his life. I request that he educates himself about the issue of campus sexual assault. I hope he accepts proper punishment and pushes himself to reenter society as a better person.
To conclude, I want to say thank you. To everyone from the intern who made me oatmeal when I woke up at the hospital that morning, to the deputy who waited beside me, to the nurses who calmed me, to the detective who listened to me and never judged me, to my advocates who stood unwaveringly beside me, to my therapist who taught me to find courage in vulnerability, to my boss for being kind and understanding, to my incredible parents who teach me how to turn pain into strength, to my friends who remind me how to be happy, to my boyfriend who is patient and loving, to my unconquerable sister who is the other half of my heart, to Alaleh, my idol, who fought tirelessly and never doubted me. Thank you to everyone involved in the trial for their time and attention. Thank you to girls across the nation that wrote cards to my DA to give to me, so many strangers who cared for me.
Most importantly, 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. To have known all of these people, to have felt their protection and love, is something I will never forget.
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. Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining. Although I can’t save every boat, I hope that by speaking today, you absorbed a small amount of light, a small knowing that you can’t be silenced, a small satisfaction that justice was served, a small assurance that we are getting somewhere, and a big, big knowing that you are important, unquestionably, you are untouchable, you are beautiful, you are to be valued, respected, undeniably, every minute of every day, you are powerful and nobody can take that away from you. To girls everywhere, I am with you. Thank you.
When Judge Persky was in the SCC DA’s office he prosecuted sex crimes. When he ran for judge the first time he stated: “I serve as an Executive Committee Member of the Support Network for Battered Women.” So what happened? Suddenly Judge Persky is worried about what prison time will due to a man convicted of rape. What about his victim’s life? Apparently that does not matter to Judge Persky. If he remains on that Board, the Board should demand his resignation. Reading Brock Turner’s Dad’s statement makes it quite clear where Brock got his views on booze, women, and rape.
The problem with FINFAN is that he has a tendency to think with his brain and come to objective conclusions while everyone else is thinking with their glands and running around with one foot in the politically correct bucket.
JMO, let’s use your robbery analogy. Here’s what the witnesses saw. You are on the sidewalk; you push me down after taking money right out of my hand. I fall to the ground, hitting my head on the sidewalk and you try to run away. Witnesses, two Swedish grad students, reasonably believing that they have witnessed a robbery, grab you and hold you for police. The police arrive, talk to me and I am so slobbering drunk that I can’t even tell them what planet I am on. The police interview you, the suspect, and since you too are slobbering drunk, you can’t remember much of what happened other than to say you didn’t do it.
The following morning, when the detective calls me for a follow-up statement, I have “total recall” (?) and tell him that I woke up with a bruise and some scrapes on my face and all my money is gone. I think I must have been robbed and tell him so. Based on the reasonable statements of the witnesses, and the fact that daddy hires his tax attorney, rather than Johnny Cochran, to defend you, you are convicted, and the media screams when the judge gives you a politically incorrect sentence.
Here’s what really happened. You and I went into a place where we knew there would be gambling and heavy drinking and I had a full wallet when I went in. I lose all my money gambling. You take your winnings, mock me, and leave. I follow you out to the sidewalk and while you are counting your money, I demand my money back and when you refuse, I grab some of it out of your hands. The witnesses arrive just as you grab the money back from me, and push me down, and then try to leave. You have robbed me (???); that is what the witnesses tell the police.
When I wake up the next morning, my face is scraped up, my money is gone, I was too drunk to recall otherwise, so rather than question my own poor judgment, I conclude that I was robbed and tell that to the detective. After the jury convicts you, the judge, who knows more about drunken human stupidity than anyone else in the courtroom (except maybe the bailiff), realizes there is undoubtedly more to the story, and hands down an appropriate sentence. Politicians bellow their self-serving howls, and female activist civil rights attorneys and other special interest groups join the chorus.
Moral of the story: Never drink or play poker at FINFAN’s house.
COULD WE PLEASE GET BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY BEFORE WE HAVE A LYNCH CROWD BECAUSE THE PERPETRATOR IS WHITE AND PRIVELEGED. i WAS ALMOST GANG RAPED THREE TIMES AT MICHIGAN STATE, SO I HAVE LITTLE SYMPATHY FOR PREPLANNED SEXUAL VIOLENCE. HOWEVER, THE FACT THAT THIS GUY IS STANFORD AND BLONDE SEEMS TO HAVE ATTRACTED ALL THE LOCAL DEMOCRATS TO CHIME IN, WHEN MAYBE IT IS NOT APPROPRIATE. i AM A WHITE FEMALE WHO TRIED TO GET THROUGH A PROGRAM AT VALLEY MED. WE HAD FOREIGN TECHNIICIANS SEXUALLY FONDALING STUDENTS AND PATIENTS ALIKE. i TOOK A LIST TO THE SAN JOSE POLICE, AND THEY TOLD ME THEY WERE NOT INTERESTED. THIS CASE TAKES THE PRESSURE OF THE SAN JOSE RIOTS, AND CRIMES COMMITTED BY NONCITIZENS. ALSO THERE WAS A DAYLIGHT MURDER IN LOS GATOS OF A MR. HARDEN BY TWO SAN FRANCISCANS. I REPORTED TO THE SANTA CLARA COUNTY SHERRIFFS OFFICE THAT THE TWO IN THE PRIUS WITH THE GREEN LICENSE PLATES HAD FOLLOWED ME AROUND MOUNTAIN VIEW BEFORE I PULLED INTO THE FIRE STATION. AGAIN NO RESPONSE. THE WOMAN’S STORY SOUNDS CONVINCING, BUT I DO THINK THE PUBLICITY IS BECAUSE OF THE PERPETRATORS RACE AND STATUS.
Sick ,,, just sick that this pervert gets 3 months for destroying the woman’s life. We can only hope that some of our gangsters will give him the street justice the judge did not give. Don’t bend over in the prison shower pervert. What message does this send to young men. Is the judge an believe as Muslims do that this is ok?
After wading through most of the finger wagging of the writer (I couldn’t stomach reading it all), and the self-serving “I’m damaged forever!” sniveling by the presumed victim (who wouldn’t even know what had happened, unless others told her their version of events), all I could think was, ‘another snowflake’. Nowhere in the article was there any forensic evidence of rape reported. But the repeated poking, prodding, and swabbing of the medical staff was documented.
Like the evil McMartin preschool teachers who presumably took the kids on secret airplane rides, and practiced the occult with them in tunnels under the school, she was surrounded by enablers who are apparently skilled mind-readers, able to divine that a rape had occurred because they’re smarter than everyone. Those mind-readers kept telling her exactly what had happened, and she obligingly reported their version as if she was aware of it. But as she repeatedly admitted, she wasn’t.
What I see here is a naive young man who was incompetently represented by a lawyer who didn’t promtly take control of the case, including telling the father to STFU. A narrative was quickly established, assuming that the kid was guilty of ‘rape’. But there was no physical evidence presented, other than the minor trauma caused by the hospital’s enablers. Plenty of swabbing is described, but no reults were indicated. What does that tell you? If there had been evidence of semen, that would have been reported front and center, above the fold.
I’ll admit that I don’t know everything. But nobody does. It’s crystal clear that the case was built on a pyramid of assumptions. There’s a good lesson here: if you need a criminal defense lawyer, don’t use your lawyer/accountant.
Sorry, hand-wringers, but here at ground zero of the same society that condones — and even approves of — women murdering their child for convenience 48 hours before birth, and when a man can claim to be a lesbian trapped in a male body and go shower with naked girls, I would like some, like, actual physical evidence that what they say happened actually happened.
Maybe it did. But for me, ‘maybe’ isn’t enough. Throughout the assumed victim’s tedious, self-absorbed narrative (which others here are convinced happened because that’s what they want to believe), it should be noted again that she didn’t remember any of it. And there is not one reference anywhere to “presumed innocent”.
No, it was “presumed guilty!” throughout. And the mob got its circus.
Again the victim is raped by the legal system. I hope she pursues civil action. Her life is changed forever while the convicted rapist skates with three months. Again, the privileged are awarded with light sentences. The conviction also begs to ask about the status of women in this country. We are not property to be abused. Hopefully the judge will meet his fair reward for this extremely unfair ruling or will it just be swept under the carpet.
SCOTT HER HOLD THE ROTATION WANNABEE. A PREP SCHOOL PUNK RAPES A GIRL AND HER HOLD DEFENDS HIM. ONE BAD NIGHT WHY PUNISH FOR ONE BAD NIGHT. Hey Scottie, how about we go through Folsom with your column and line up the excuses
Imagine Aaron and Herold are time traveled to 19th Century London to defend Jack the Ripper
A “woman” five years into adulthood and in a relationship makes the decision to go to a frat party where the drinking is sure to be heavy, the frat boys sure to be immature, and hormones sure to be raging. Surrounded by strangers and supported only by a predictably unreliable younger sister, this liberated young woman decided to express her liberty in a way more fitting of a sea-weary young swabby set loose in Olongapo City. She drinks herself into oblivion. What she did after that she can’t tell you, nor can her sister or, it seems, anyone else.
Had she, in her inebriated condition, slapped an innocent partygoer or vandalized someone’s property, her genuine inability to recall or account for her actions might be recognized as having diminished her capacity to formulate criminal intent. But since we have no evidence of this woman having committed a criminal act, her supporters demand that we consider her transition from an unimpaired state (sober) to her first diminished state, drunk partygoer, and to a second diminished state, unconscious victim, without prejudice.
To do so, to my mind, would be to diminish the state’s ability to administer justice. This woman was not, nor should she be treated as, a good victim. From a prosecutorial vantage point, her value as a victim was as diminished as was her mental capacity. Had she been sober or only slightly impaired, this woman could’ve provided to the court the details necessary to accurately assess the defendant’s conduct so as to determine what, if any, crimes he committed, and, most importantly, what, if any, sentence he deserved. But she wasn’t sober or only slightly impaired, she was so drunk that she surpassed her body’s ability to metabolize the ingested alcohol and maintain consciousness.
By her volitional, irresponsible conduct, this woman forced the court to look to other sources for the information normally provided by a sexual assault victim. The first source, the witnesses, observed the woman only in the second of her diminished states, that of unconscious victim. The second source, the defendant, offered little in the way of clarity as he too was intoxicated and claimed only a vague recollection of the incident. The third source, the prosecution, was forced to rely on a hypothesis based almost entirely on physical evidence to cover that critical period in which the woman transitioned from drunk partygoer to unconscious victim.
Had that physical evidence been consistent with the forcible rape of an unimpaired victim (serious injury, drag marks, torn clothing, etc.), the woman’s diminished state would’ve been far less a hinderance to the court’s ability to determine the facts, but it was not, and the court was left with two equally unsatisfactory alternatives: accept the D.A.’s hypothesis as an acceptable substitute for the woman’s lost recollection (and sentence the defendant based on a theory), or reject that hypothesis and issue a sentence based on that which is absolutely known, about both the crime and the defendant.
The judge got it right.
So then, Fin Fan, in your view if a guy gets drunk, and is subsequently beaten and robbed, the perpetrator should get off with a lighter sentence than if the victim been sober?
If fin got raped or had a daughter or a niece that got raped especially by a minority
, he would scream. Fin Fan, what a white boy
If you are who I believe you to be (and I wish I knew for sure), please do your co-workers a favor and stop working so hard to make yourself the next embarrassment the boss drags through the news.
Thank you for much for this piece Jennifer.
Gut wrenching, and wish I could say I was shocked, but the same ole, same ole: Silicon Valley Meritocratic Frat Boy Scientific Logic™, has prevailed, as it normally does.
And yeah what to say, same ole Frat Boy himself, Herhold, while prior, Pulitzer winning (for Loma Prieta Earthquake coverage), Mercury News writer, Gary Webb – who wrote the Dark Allianceseries, regarding factual CIA drug trafficking and was consequently horridly dumped by the Murky- ultimately ended up with a questionable 2 bullet to the head “suicide.”
In your scenario, what happened to the drunk is presented as an established fact: he was beaten and robbed so there is no question as to what his assailant did. But if there were questions, as there often are in the wake of drunken disputes between winos over money, making a case of anything more serious than theft or simple battery (with a penalty of county time) is rare. Of course, since no wino can count on a herd of hysterical and unrealistic women to turn his case into a political football, few D.A.’s are inclined to overcharge the accused.
What I find especially troubling in the aftermath of the sentencing are two things: first, the emphasis and political significance that has been awarded the victim’s lengthy and ruminative letter to the judge — demonstrating a level of consideration and thoughtfulness completely absent in her decisions and behavior on the night in question, second, the outrage over the clunky wording of a letter written by the defendant’s father — as if his composition skills or values should be held against his adult son.
I understand the outpouring of sympathy for the victim, I just don’t share it. Her behavior was reckless and self-destructive, suitable for a town drunk. People who drink themselves into unconsciousness sometimes die from alcohol poisoning — had she done so I’m sure someone else would’ve been blamed. People who drink to excess sometimes hurt or kill someone while driving under the influence; women who get plastered often wind-up acquiescing to sexual encounters that are ruinous and/or regretful. In today’s world, a woman who passes out drunk and alone at a frat party is almost guaranteed to pay a price, and just might end-up with her bare end up on the worldwide web.
I was a bit brief with my scenario, but you never answered my question. Suppose a man gets drunk and wanders out of the bar with another guy, who is an athlete from a local university. While walking in an alley, the athlete jumps the drunk man, beats and robs the drunk guy and while the beating is still going on two guys ride by on bicycles and notice the altercation. The beater runs, but the guys on the bikes catch him and hold him until the cops arrive. The drunk guy can’t remember what happened. The assailant is arrested and charged with battery and robbery. He is tried and convicted. Do you contend that the judge should impose a lighter sentence on the defendant than he otherwise would because the victim was drunk?
Damn, i left out another fact–So, do you believe the judge should impose a lighter sentence on the defendant than he ordinarily would because the victim was drunk and could not remember the incident and the defendant was a nice white boy college athlete with no prior criminal record?
Thanks Herb and John, I’m glad someone has the energy today to deal with the repulsive frustrated finfan, some of whose remarks show a rather seething rage against females (no matter how young) as some sort of lower life form sirens (possibly because they spurn his vulgar attentions), prone to spreading defective DNA; females who should never have the same civilization rights as males – including the right to mistakenly drink too much more than one can handle without passing out in an unfamiliar place (which actually is a mark of people who don’t drink much), while attempting to spend time with a sister one may not see in a long while, without being dragged behind a dumpster, undressed and thoroughly violated while unconscious; by someone who was conscious enough to physically undress and violate her as if she were a slab of meat, and who had to be pulled off of her by two other males.
I assume your response to me is representative of the shortcomings of your upbringing and education, so I won’t take offense, but please don’t mistake your ability to construct a few unsupported assumptions as your having something worthwhile to contribute.
Here’s the problem with your scenario: you factually state that the athlete jumps, beats, and robs the drunk guy, which is not at all analogous to what can be factually stated about the Stanford case, where no one can say with certainty to what degree the woman participated in her progression from inside the frat house to the ground behind the dumpster. Did she walk out on her own intending to go home or did she make her way out there while making-out with the defendant? Did she try to stop the man from fondling her and taking her to the ground, or was she a willing participant — perhaps even the aggressor? Was she conscious when she hit the ground or did she pass out in the man’s arms and he took her down to take advantage of her? There are no answers to these critical questions, and even some of what we do know, such as the fact that the defendant was atop the woman when she was passed out drunk, is weakened by our inability to say with certainty when it was she passed out and when, if ever, the defendant realized that she had.
As for the defendant’s race and criminal record, my position would be the same no matter his race, however, if he had any priors involving sexual aggression or violence toward females, then those facts would diminish the judge’s capacity to sentence him to the minimum.
In your latest criticism of me you made it a point to counter my statement “females are not equal to men” by noting that “the subject matter was specifically economic equality,” as if I’d missed the mark. Sorry, but your delusions have done you in once again. My statement was made in response to you stating this: “how it was okay for frustrated finfan to suggest sterilizing really young women attempting to live in a Valley, which clearly has a National Record for gender inequality…”
Read ‘em and weep. I had it right and it looks like you got your dosage wrong.
as I’m pretty sure the male Trump supporters here are too busy using a very young, naive female (not at all old enough to understand the history of Silicon Valley), they could care less about (and would more than likely mock and degrade if she commented here, as they do so many older and wiser females), who was egged for Trumps stunning racism about supposed “illegal human beings” – who actually provided the backbone for Silicon Valley’s wealth (just like slaves did for the US).
i.e. They have far more umbrage to spread about a female who got egged than a female who was raped, and they could care less about either of those young woman.
The World at large knows this about Silicon Valley.
FinFan, could you answer JohnMichael’s question? It seems like you think the scenarios are different because in his question it’s a fact that the drunk gets beaten and robbed. But in this real life scenario the drunk woman getting raped is also fact, at least according to the law. Turner was convicted of 3 counts of sexual assault.
Stepping back from the hypothetical scenarios being discussed, I think it is worth reminding all here that the felonies Turner was convicted of concern sexual assault upon intoxicated or unconscious parties: “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.”
Seems to me that even if the victim had initiated the sexual contact, the last felony in particular clearly trumps it. The point: Do not engage in sex with people who are unconscious.
Turner’s conviction, as reported, was for:
— “intent to commit rape of an intoxicated/unconscious person”
— “penetration of an intoxicated person”
— “penetration of an unconscious person”
In JohnMichael’s scenario, the conviction would be not for the mere intent to commit the act, but the act itself. Were the Turner case analogous, testimony by the victim and/or witnesses would have established that Turner engaged in sexual intercourse with the victim AND that the victim did not or could not give consent. Had that been the case Turner would’ve been convicted of rape, not simply the intent to commit the act. There is a difference between allegations supported by evidence and those cobbled together by a prosecutor, as was proved at the preliminary hearing when the prosecution was unable to support the two rape counts it had manufactured out of nothing but thin air and rape hysteria.
What can be said about Turner’s intent to commit rape is that, other than in the D.A.’s hypothetical, we can’t be sure it existed prior to the filing of this case. What was the defendant’s intent when he left the party with the victim? Or when he laid down with her behind the dumpster? How did her behavior or his intoxication affect his intent, or ability to form one? We have no way of knowing if he was even physically capable of have intercourse with the woman (but we do know that he did not).
Similarly, the penetration-related convictions are based on an interpretation of physical evidence that presumes they occurred when the woman was already too incapacitated to have given consent (and the defendant capable of realizing it), completely ignoring that this type of behavior is a common form of foreplay. When, exactly, did the woman’s blood alcohol content rise to the level consistent with incapacity? Was it before or after she lay down with the defendant? Who knows? For all we know the penetration could’ve occurred on the dance floor. Might it be possible that a woman can be capable of dancing but not of engaging in consensual sex? Don’t you realize that, in the absence of factual knowledge, how dangerous it is to allow the D.A. to provide the answers?
People can, when properly motivated, blind themselves to their own contradictions. In this case, the intoxication of the victim is recognized as disabling while the defendant’s intoxication is treated as a non-issue. The victim is portrayed as simply a young woman who attended a party to dance and have fun, while the defendant is pejoratively cast as a white, privileged and protected student/athlete attending a prestigious university — as if that’s indistinguishable from a predator-in-waiting (or Duke University lacrosse player). The public’s perception of the defendant was biased from the onset, this despite there being no reason to believe that had the incident been an airtight case of rape neither the defendant’s race, school affiliation, athletic success, or socioeconomic factors would’ve spared him from conviction and harsh sentencing.
The judge who decided this case has a better understanding of how the law interacts with the complex and convoluted manner in which humans engage in sexual behavior than do you, I, or any of his most vocal critics. He is familiar with what alcohol does to people’s judgment, understanding, and memory. He understands that gray areas cannot, in the interest of justice, be treated as black and white. And in this case, he bravely applied justice as dictated by the facts and not by the runaway emotions of a community mesmerized by the steady beat of gender inequity, female victimization, and class warfare. The judge added up what was factually known and correctly concluded that a drunk frat boy discovered dry humping a drunk party girl does not deserve to go to prison.
Lastly, you are correct when you qualify Turner’s misconduct as “at least according to the law,” because had those exacting laws used against Mr. Turner found their way that night into the nooks and crannies of that frat house, where dozens of impaired frat boys had paired themselves off with impaired party girls for some sexual inexactitude, they too might have found themselves cast as dangerous criminals by a frenzied flock of gender warmongers and subjected to the career ambitions of our overzealous district attorney.
Just how long did it take you to cook up that one, J.S. Robillard (your above, Jun 8, 2016 @ 4:17 pm, comment)?
Lovely, ‘White’ Frat Boy Support Hose between frustrated finfan and one of his admirer peers. The world at large (and certainly, at least more than likely, your (if you have any) spouses, or mates), – including millions of white males – have had about enough of your self consumed ‘defenses’ in the face of near utterly destroying others lives, you venal a—holes.
Often those who defend perpetrators of reprehensible crimes are not so subtly projecting their own desires. Which is rather disturbing.
Another despicable racist, sexist, name-calling comment by “Diane”.
Is there any other kind?
You’ve made your point. I acknowledge that you are exceptionally adept at forming emotion-based conclusions and reducing even the most complex events into simple them-versus-us propositions. That you are living a life unencumbered by any allegiance to reality or factual evidence is obvious. You and every other estrogen-crazed crusader obsessed with the Turner sentencing are a credit to your gender and valuable reminders as to why this nation’s founders never considered awarding women the right to vote.
Bro you are brave behind a computer! I’m sure all the girls watch there drink around you since you are such an adamant Brock supporter (*cough*). Maybe you should update your tinder account with your views (*thinks it might help save some girl in the future*). Newsflash men have estrogen too (not sure why estrogen is playing a factor into being “crazed”)! In fact, estrogen levels increase with fat (*looks at you pointedly*)
The arrogance and sense of entitlement of the rapist, and especially his dad, are sickening. A couple of additional thoughts:
Alluded to in the article is the stage that precedes incapacitation: being blackout drunk. When a woman (or man) is blackout drunk, they can even seem to make sense, and may be able to say something that resembles consent, but they will never, ever, remember it. I think that those who are blackout drunk should be assumed incapable of giving effective consent.
Another issue: while even in the remote possibility that the victim was able to give consent at the beginning, once she passed out the rapist should have stopped his activities and gotten her medical assistance. Many people have died as a result of intoxication — a real risk here.
No doubt the Judge relied upon a thorough probation report as well as the statements in open court. Has anyone here read the probation report? That might explain the Judge’s position.
No one wins in this case. The victim is not satisfied and the defendant gets to register as a sex offender for life.
yeah, I agree, and I suspect it’s fairly common, hugs to ya, bigdumbgod!
I’m sorry, but when I read your comment, it sounds like some receive a one off for rape and attempted rape – an utterly near life destroying crime for the victim, certainly a murder of sorts – if they have no official record of rape? Or, are you talking about probation for petty crimes unrelated to rape (if so, what does that have to do with rape?).
I’m confused, and how do you feel about Murder one offs, exclusively for white male frats with no probation record of petty crimes?
I might be able to at least somewhat understand your thought process if it weren’t an absolute fact that, non white, and even white, non frat males, do years upon years of time when they do the same, regardless of having no probation records.
My apologies if I’ve misunderstood you.
well, what do ya know:
according to the above piece, turns out that Brock seemed rather sober, wasn’t even slurring his words – it’s already been made quite clear that he wasn’t physically incapacitated – he most certainly was vividly aware enough of the wrong he was doing to RUN AWAY when discovered.
(next thing ya now a witness could even come forward (if they dared subject themselves to the Frat Kingdom onslaught which would follow) at some point in the next week, month, year, decade, ….. or two, or three, or four, … about something having been deposited in a 23 year old female’s drink; which, bleakly, wouldn’t surprise me at all.)
oooh Smokey (above), did frustrated finfan give you a WHITE FRAT BOY pass for having human emotions?
funny how no one else, the majority of human beings, are allowed emotions according to your ideology.
For a moment as if to catch a breath, Diane breached the surface of her roiling sea of delirium and gulped to inhale what she recognized as a tantalizing factoid, which has now bubbled to the surface and appeared here as evidence that Brock Turner was not intoxicated. Who would’ve ever thought Diane would give credence to a white male Stanford student (who may have at one time belonged to a fraternity)? It just goes to show the power of desperation, as does the fact that Diane is willing to award credibility to someone who claims that the 19 year-old defendant, whose blood alcohol at the time was twice the legal limit, was in fact sober.
Enough to make me question the value of anything this witness — who’s still haunted by what he saw, had to say about the incident.
If bruised and abraided vaginal walls, behind a dumpster, not moving female, in the cold dark night, with her skirt flipped over her head sound like anywhere close to being consenual sex we need to have a talk (*or thinks the police may need to chat you up*)
Thanks for your intense defense of this position
(Is this Brock’s dad?)
Pine needles and dirt in a vagina during sex does not sound fun man
I am just curious. At what point did you pull out your pocket speculum and examine the victim’s vaginal walls and find them bruised, abraided and containing pine needles and dirt, as you described? As well, if you have first hand knowledge that the victim’s skirt was found flipped up over her head, how would you know that? Perhaps the police should “chat you up”.
No one is necessarily defending this little “W”-word” frat-brat. However, as the Duke lacrosse case; and Rolling Stone magazine’s “A Rape on Campus” article by Sabrina Erdely; and the Tawana Brawley case and many more has shown, women don’t always tell the truth about rape.
The difference is that most law enforcement agencies are by and large, by various policies and some state laws, forbidden to interview a rape victim in any manner approaching skepticism, even to cross-check facts and explore discrepancies, as investigators are allowed to do and should do with any other victim of any other crime.
Before (possibly well-meaning) people like Diane fly off the deep end into an emotional rant (somewhat understandable in those accustomed to thinking emotionally rather than rationally and objectively; that’s not a put-down) perhaps they should read the court transcripts, and the victim’s original statement to police, the doctor’s report describing the victim’s injuries (or in this case, apparent lack of injury) and check hers and the “W-word” boy’s blood alcohol level.
Grip the facts and not the feminist agenda because “women never lie”, right?
And Mr. Pauly, if you are trying to goad FinFan into stepping out from “brave behind a computer”, be careful what you wish for, or at least get me a front row seat.
As far as Diane’s contention that I am somehow an admiring peer of FinFan: FinFan you stink!. There. Happy now?
When it comes to establishing a defendant’s guilt or innocence I prefer to rely on what can be factually established over what “sounds like” evidence. Given that the evidence (per press accounts) indicated that sexual intercourse never occurred (lack of biological evidence, fully-clothed defendant, etc.), what the court was left to interpret was the defendant’s intent (subject to bias and wild guesswork), his ability to form intent (he was drunk), the point at which the victim lost her ability to give consent (not an exact science), the defendant’s awareness of the victim’s incapacitation (his judgment was impaired), and whether the factually-established penetration occurred before or after the victim became incapacitated.
The news is now reporting that one of the two rescuers described the defendant as having been sober when discovered, this despite his blood alcohol level being twice the legal limit. Was the witness lying, or was his obvious error in judgment due to his inexperience in making such judgments – amplified by his excited state (after coming across a scene that shocked him)? The answer is certainly the latter, supporting the defense’s common-sense contention that a drunk 19 year-old in an excited sexual state should not be assumed to have been capable of fully comprehending, or responsibly attending to, his female companion’s level of intoxication.
As for you and I having a talk, your juvenile implication that I might be the defendant’s father tells me you have nothing to offer.
Al fresco sex alone is not a sign of rape – two parties can both consent without considering pine needles and the like. But unconsciousness is a sign of rape because it shows inability to provide effective consent.
Not one reference to William Clinton or Juanita Broaddrick. Or to William Clinton’s enabler.
“In a universe far, far away . . ” from the Stanford campus.
Bill Clinton was convicted of rape?
What sentence did he get?
> Bill Clinton was convicted of rape?
Only convicted of lying.
But, Bill Clinton’s enabler says that “rape victims should be believed”.
What’s your favorite Kool-AId?
Thanks much Pauly,
hugs to ya!
frustrated finfan, certainly is a piece of work. I love that twice the Legal Limit bit he spewed in his outrage to defend someone well familiar with brew (as the facts trickle out, it turns out Master Brock already had a charge for alcohol possession pending as he was sexually assaulting his (latest?) unconscious victim.
As any adult who has a drivers license and has an occasional drink – knows, the legal limit for anyone from 180 to 220 pounds is a meager two twelve ounce cans of brewsky, which means Master Brock might have had the equivalent of four 12 ounce cans as he was setting his sights on who might be his easiest victim to overtake.
I’m positive frustrated finfan and his fellow shark fans can down a six pack (three times that legal limit) in no time; and , at that point, are still quite adept at: barbecuing; calling their spouses, or mates (if they have any, which is highly questionable), and telling them lies without slurring; then driving back to the store for more, without slurring, or swerving.
yep, as the facts come bleakly trickling down (most of which facts Creepo Stanford Frat Boy Judge! Aaron Perskey was made well aware of), while Master Brock will be let out on September 2nd (three months? what happened to those six months?, … let alone the far, far, far longer term non frat boys receive):
Oh my goodness! The defendant received a text about a photo the police could never locate. Evidentiary value: zero. A witness saw an unidentified man standing over the victim, possibly taking a photograph. Strange that this witness could identify the victim but not the male subject. Evidentiary value: zero.
0 + 0 = 0. Good thing the judge knows his arithmetic.
Continuing from my last comment above:
The incident becomes even more implicating of Master Brock Turner, when one reads further, regarding Blake Bolton’s statement to the police:
as it clearly infers that Brock momentarily ditched, yet came back for even more assault, after Bolton Blake left, and then was called out and apprehended – while assaulting an unconscious female – by two wonderful young MEN.
Something tells me frat boy Justin Buck who made a comment about the victim’s breasts won’t be having a summer job much longer at Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Yeah, good luck to Buck on that job, pretty sure BofA doesn’t need any more bad publicity. I can’t help but wonder if he was the one who either deleted or begged someone else to delete, that photo while Brock’s phone was in custody.
(speaking of which, I should correct two things from my second to last post: I spelled Persky’s name wrong (as Perskey, vs. Persky) and I neglected a question mark I should have added, correction: Buck, 21, [WHITE FRAT BOY who loves to use the N word ? – diane] ; though it’s probable he does if he hung out with Brock, as it’s been found that Brock used the word repeatedly in text messages.) .
As to these sickening, vulgar weasel words above:
this is from the last piece I linked to above (Stanford rapist ‘took photograph of his victim’s breasts during attack – and shared it with swim team friends who deleted it after his arrest’, police believe):
And clearly, Judge Persky was made aware of this, he ought to be sentenced. He already had a record of letting rapists go in the 2011 De Anza Frat Boy Rape Trial.
The DeAnza ball players were never tried for rape, neither the female DA nor AG Jerry Brown’s office thought there was sufficient evidence for conviction.
Many square citizens cannot grasp the idea that a woman would want to have sex with more than one man at a time, but it happens.
(apologies for all that bolding above, I neglected to add a after the question mark correction, sorry!)
(A clearer, more readable version of my botched eyesore comment above, sorry again!)
Yeah, good luck to Buck on that job, pretty sure BofA doesn’t need and more bad publicity. I can’t help but wonder if he was the one who either deleted or begged someone else to delete, that photo while Brock’s phone was in custody.
(speaking of which, I should correct two things from my second to last post: I spelled Persky’s name wrong (as Perskey, vs. Persky) and I neglected a question mark I should have added, correction: Buck, 21, [WHITE FRAT BOY who loves to use the N word ? – diane] ; though it’s probable he does if he hung out with Brock, as it’s been found that Brock used the word repeatedly in text messages.) .
As to these sickening, vulgar weasel words above:
this is from the last piece I linked to above (Stanford rapist ‘took photograph of his victim’s breasts during attack – and shared it with swim team friends who deleted it after his arrest’, police believe):
And clearly, Judge Persky was made aware of this, he ought to be sentenced. He already had a record of letting rapists go in the 2011 De Anza Frat Boy Rape Trial.
There most certainly was a trial.
Aaron Persky presided over a Civil Lawsuit by the victim in 2011.
Unfortunately, many of the articles I kept note of on that incident, were on a computer which has since fried, so I can’t easily access them on the numerous backup files I have. I do recollect that three females interceded, and that one of those female’s parent’s were so worried about the frat boy lover backlash that they sent their daughter off to Europe for a while.
I also recollect the stunningly insulting, horrid Silicon Valley tone deafness towards females in general, when Government A** Holes decided to award those females who interceded – who were athletes themselves – by letting them pitch the ball in the BIG BOYZ BALL Game.
Lastly I recollect the vivid impression, from the numerous articles I read, that the young woman was most certainly gang raped without consent.
I may be wrong but it is my understanding that only the breasts, not a (victim’s) face was shown in the mysterious photo that apparently has not been confirmed, other than by potentially self-serving statements, to have actually existed at all.
If no face was attached to the photo, and we are not absolutely sure that the “boobs” supposedly depicted were, in fact those of the victim, then there is no other alternative than to have a “boob photo line-up” and see if anyone who supposedly saw the original, yet now deleted, photos can identify the boobs in the photo as actually being the same boobs as those of the victim. This sounds like a job for former congressman Anthony Weiner.
Was it a doctor’s report or some journalist that confirmed that the victim had lacerations in her vaginal wall and are we certain that such lacerations were recent and if so, how was this determined, and how was it that this was confirmed that these injuries were caused by some sort of “fingering”? By the victim’s own admission, she didn’t even know she had supposedly been assaulted until she read about it in the news? How bad could those supposed injuries have been that she hadn’t noticed?!?
Diane, I’m sure you are a nice person but you seem content to simply and blindly accept the word and alcohol addled accusations of someone who was supposedly so slobbering drunk that she could not give valid consent for intimate contact and only knew anything had happened after she read about it in the news?!?
The only thing that seems clear, by all accounts here, is that this victim is likely an alcoholic who should get herself into rehab before she has another blackout and makes more hangover accusations after hearing about it in the news.
Rape is a word with a distinct legal meaning. Rape is a crime. Only after every element of the crime of rape has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal trial can one say that an individual has committed rape.
Thus by definition, a civil lawsuit can never determine whether someone committed rape. And carelessly throwing the term “rape” around is irresponsible.
I am not going to belabor the issue of multiple partner sex.
Rape is far, far, far more than a word with distinct legal meaning. And I’m betting that you are fully aware of that; even to the extent of praying that it never comes your way.
Really generally speaking (forgot your thesaurus, chiexpat?), it is an UNSOLICITED violation of another, against what would be their full witted adult response.
Getting more specific, the word “RAPE” is most generally used as in an UNSOLICITED sexual violation of another (usually a child or female), against what would be their full witted adult response; which is clearly what the DeAnza Rape was, and why those three females put a stop to it.
Snake words you’re tossing about, chiexpat, such as.
Shove it, chiexpat.
Diane writes: “Rape is far, far, far more than a word with distinct legal meaning.”
With this, I wholeheartedly agree. As an act of intolerable barbarity, civilized humans always understood rape to be, like the killing of an innocent, an evil that harms both the individual victim and the cause of civilization. It was a self-evident act about which there was no uncertainty, not to the victim, the perpetrator, or the community.
After decades of politicizing a law based on the inherent evil of the act, the distinct legal meaning of rape – as interpreted by politicized prosecutors, has become so become so broad and convoluted that, in many cases, even the parties involved can’t be sure as to the legal status of their actions (this assertion is made indisputable by the examples, familiar to every seasoned sex crimes investigator, of women taking days, weeks, or even years to conclude that they had not given consent). In an effort to appease feminist voting blocks and provide females with a level of legal protection that was previously extended only to children, an act that was once objectively known is now so subjectively defined and interpreted as to frequently defy comprehension.
As example, a female’s ingestion of alcohol and its drink-by-drink, minute-by-minute effect on her ability to give consent, an assessment that, except for in the most extreme of cases, is frighteningly subjective. Given that alcohol is commonly ingested during many of the social events that precede sexual intercourse between non-cohabitant couples, this law, when wielded for political purposes by a prosecutor, transforms every would-be Casanova into a sobriety detector and, potentially, a morning-after target for the wrath of the one-night stand who resents be treated as such.
Imagine the young Stanford student (let’s make him a white frat boy to really spice him up) who discovers on Monday that whats-her-name, whose charms he sampled during a recent party, has, after days of waiting for him to call, filed a police report alleging he’d taken advantage of her after she’d been drinking. Now, given the hysteria over the Turner sentencing, exactly what chance would this young man have of getting a fair shake from the criminal justice system? In reality, his best bet would be to react to the system as young men once reacted to a pointed shotgun and marry the girl. The system has devolved to become as emotionally crazed as a father of a pregnant, unmarried girl.
I’d be surprised if anyone who’s ever dealt with a woman who’d been ambushed and raped by a stranger was not a little troubled to see its traumatic and life-altering impact claimed by so many who suffered far more by way of their inescapable neurosis and fertile imaginations than they ever did at the hands of a man. The victim in the Turner case is a prime example, composing over 7,000 words to describe the lasting impact of an event she was too drunk to recall; contrast that with sober rape victims whose wounds are so deep and disabling that they struggle to utter a single sentence.
Rape zealots, who feast upon the law’s inability to perfectly protect us from both predators and pretenders, employ their political power to cow local prosecutors into abandoning the discretion necessary to extract justice from an imperfect code. They want men sent to prison not for the facts of what was done, but to elevate the victim status of their gender and experience the feel of power exercised. They delude themselves into thinking they’re giving rape victims their due as they go about hysterically crying wolf, liberating reckless women from accountability, and inviting a self-defeating level of skepticism.
District attorneys do a disservice to sentencing judges and correctional officials in two ways: first, by overcharging defendants for political reasons and thus inflating the severity of the misdeed; second, by seeking draconian penalties in high-profile cases. In the Turner case, where the intoxicated defendant behaved in a way that was certainly despicable, the conduct of the district attorney’s office, where the decision-making was unimpaired – at least by alcohol, was worse. How the word rape ever came to be associated with this case is a mystery (that stinks of politics), and what possible reason could the D.A. have had for turning the drunken debauchery of the frat house into a six year term in state prison? Was Mr. Turner meant to be made an example? If so, of what? Of the dangers of college drinking? Of the risks of random sex? Of the need to respect a female who shows no respect for herself? None of these things can be changed by sacrificing one idiot frat boy. If Mr. Turner was meant to be an example it could only have been to demonstrate Jeff Rosen’s commitment to the appeasement of rape zealots and his eagerness to establish himself as colorblind when it comes to sending convicts to the joint. As if that will make the color of street crime any less black and brown.
Young Mr. Turner will, for his drunken stupidity, spend his summer frightened and miserable in the county jail; his next three years knowing that he is a misdeed away from violating his probation and being sent to prison; and the rest of his life as a registered sex offender. This sentence was recommended by a probation officer who investigated the matter and the judge who oversaw the trial. Both had the benefit of experience and context; their decisions should not be trumped by politics or by raw, misinformed emotion.
Western Civilization has long had a dim view of rape.
Then, at places like Stanford, it became fashionable to espouse a dim view of Western Civilization.
It’s very likely that one of the most popular people among the members of the Stanford community is Bill Clinton’s chief enabler.
“Free love!”, “Open marriage!”, “If it feels good, do it!”.
What goes around, comes around.
yep, shove it, chiexpat ; right along with: frustrated finfan; Smokey; J.S. Robillard; and sjoutsidethe bubble [not a negative word to say about NASA and Operation Paperclip?????? (speaking of VIOLATION) – diane]; etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. ….