Outrage in Stanford rape case over statements of victim and attacker's father

Miss Alone

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A sexual-assault case at Stanford University has ignited public outrage after the defendant was sentenced to six months in a jail and starkly different statements were published online by his victim and his father, who complained that his son's life had been ruined for "20 minutes of action" fueled by alcohol and promiscuity.
The case has made headlines since the trial began this year but seized the public's attention over the weekend after the accused, Brock Allen Turner, 20, a champion swimmer, was sentenced to what many critics denounced as a lenient stint in jail and three years probation for three felony counts of sexual assault, and BuzzFeed published the full courtroom statement by the woman who was attacked.

The statement, a 7,244-word cri de coeur against the role of privilege in the trial and the way the legal system deals with sexual assault, has gone viral. By Monday, it had been viewed more than 5 million times on the BuzzFeed site.
One of those readings happened live on CNN on Monday, when the anchor Ashleigh Banfield spent part of an hour looking into the camera and reading the entire statement live on the air.
The unidentified 23-year-old victim was not a Stanford student but was visiting the campus, where she attended a fraternity party. In her statement, she described her experience before and after the attack and argued that the trial, the sentencing and the legal system's approach to sexual assault - from the defense lawyer's questions about what she wore the night she was attacked to the light sentence handed down to her attacker - were irrevocably marred by male and class privilege.
The trial privileged Turner's well-being over her own, she said, and in the end declined to punish him severely because the authorities considered the disruption to his studies and athletic career at a prestigious university when determining his sentence. She wrote:
The probation officer weighed the fact that he has surrendered a hard-earned swimming scholarship. How fast Brock swims does not lessen the severity of what happened to me, and should not lessen the severity of his punishment. 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? The fact that Brock was an athlete at a private university should not be seen as an entitlement to leniency, but as an opportunity to send a message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class.
If Turner and his defenders wanted to rebut that argument, a statement read to the court by his father, Dan Turner, and posted to Twitter on Sunday by Michele Dauber, a law professor and sociologist at Stanford, certainly did not help.
In the statement, Turner's father said that his son should not do jail time for the sexual assault, which he referred to as "the events" and "20 minutes of action" that were not violent. He said his son suffered from depression and anxiety in the wake of the trial and argued that having to register as a sex offender - and the loss of his appetite for food he once enjoyed - was punishment enough.
Brock Turner also lost a swimming scholarship to Stanford and has given up on his goal of competing at the Olympics.
"I was always excited to buy him a big rib-eye steak to grill or to get his favorite snack for him," Dan Turner wrote. "Now he barely consumes any food and eats only to exist. These verdicts have broken and shattered him and our family in so many ways."
The Santa Clara, California, district attorney, Jeff Rosen, did not agree with Dan Turner's assessment of the situation. In a statement, he said the sentence "did not fit the crime" and called Brock a "predatory offender" who refused to take responsibility or show remorse.
"Campus rape is no different than off-campus rape," Rosen said. "Rape is rape."
The Editorial Board of The San Jose Mercury News agreed, calling the sentence "a slap on the wrist" and "a setback for the movement to take campus rape seriously" in an editorial.
Dan Turner also said his son planned to use his time on probation to educate college students "about the dangers of alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity" so he could "give back to society in a net positive way."

Brock Turner's victim rebuked that proposal:
It is deeply offensive that he would try and dilute rape with a suggestion of "promiscuity." By definition rape is not the absence of promiscuity, rape is the absence of consent, and it perturbs me deeply that he can't even see that distinction.