If you haven’t been following the Stanford rape case, Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky sentenced a student to six months in prison for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in January 2015. While the student swimmer Brock Turner faced up to 14 years in prison, the judge gave him the lenient sentence of six months because of Turner’s clean record and because, he says, a strict punishment would have a “severe impact” on the predator.
Cue the excuses from Turner’s victim-blaming supporters. You’ve probably already heard about what his father said.
“These verdicts have broken and shattered him and our family in so many ways,” he said on Twitter. “His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve.”
“That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20-plus years of life.”
That’s 20 minutes of rape, and yes the point of the criminal justice system is to make criminals pay. Turner’s father isn’t the only one grasping at straws to defend the rapist. His friend, Leslie Rasmussen, wrote a letter to the judge basically saying ‘boys will be boys.’
“I don’t think it’s fair to base the fate of the next 10+ years of his life on the decision of a girl who doesn’t remember anything but the amount she drank to press charges against him. I am not blaming her directly for this, because that isn’t right,” she wrote. “But where do we draw the line and stop worrying about being politically correct every second of the day and see that rape on campuses isn’t always because people are rapists.”
“This is completely different from a woman getting kidnapped and raped as she is walking to her car in a parking lot,” Rasmussen wrote. “That is a rapist. These are not rapists. These are idiot boys and girls having too much to drink and not being aware of their surroundings and having clouded judgment.”
People are outraged by the soft sentence, which includes Turner completing a sex offender management program and registering as a sex offender, and a petition to remove Judge Persky from the bench has been started on Change.org. Over 300,000 people has already signed the petition to have the Stanford alum to be removed from the Supreme Court.