Stanford University student Brock Turner, who raped an unconscious woman behind a dumpster on campus, will serve just three months of his six-month sentence.
She said: 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.”
She said “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.”
She said to other victims: “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 now she is faced with this.
Three months in protective custody in a county jail.
Not six years, not 12 years as some hoped.
Not six months – as horrified as we were by that.
But just three months.
Brock Turner will serve only three months.
A document on the Santa Clara County's Depart of Corrections website reveals Turner, who was convicted in March on three felony counts of sexual assault will in fact be released on Sept. 2, 2016.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Officer Sgt. James Jensen, from the Santa Clara County Sheriff's office, said the court has instructed officials to release Turner on that date, although he could not say that the sentence has been formally shortened.
"If it says he's getting released on that date — unless there's some special circumstance and he receives new criminal charges while in prison and were to be charged — that is the date of his release," said Jensen.
According to KRON Santa Clara County inmates typically serve half of their jail sentences if they keep a clean record, they report that state inmates serve roughly 50 percent of their sentences before being released.
Prosecutors in the Turner case had asked that he serve six years in prison but Judge Aaron Persky gave the university swimmer only six months and ordered him to register for life as a sex offender. Controversially the judge cited his lack of a criminal history, his numerous character references, and what the judge said was "the unlikelihood of his committing another such crime" when he sentenced him.
Brock Turner during a swim meet. Via Facebook.
But now, to the dismay of victims advocates it looks like Turner will be back home in his privileged Ohio community in September.
The shock news comes as photos circulate of Turner engaging in drug use.
Court documents obtained by ABC America show images of Turner in a Stanford shirt holding a bong.
Another image shows him holding a hash pipe.
In his sentencing statement, republished by Mamamia yesterday, Turner wrote to the judge: "Coming from a small town in Ohio, I never really experienced celebrating or partying that involved alcohol."
The image of the bong - found on Turner’s phone came from a video of him smoking the bong and drinking from a bottle of liquor on December 27, 2014 - almost a month before the rape.
There were also text messages that suggested he had done LSD and MDMA.
In one message he asked about buying wax to 'do some dabs' .
Dabs refers to a form of butane hash oil or THC.
In another message from July 25, 2014 Turner said he took acid and tells a friend he is keen to try 'candyflipping,' (taking LSD and MDMA together)
Turner wrote 'I gotta [expletive deleted] try that. I heard it's awesome.'
On June 3, 2014, a text message from his sister asks him 'Did you rage last night?'
He replied 'Yeah kind of. It was hard to find a place to drink. But when we finally did could only drink for like an hour and a half.'
The messages show that contrary to what Turner told the judge his drinking and parting began well before he started Stanford.
In his statement to the court he blamed the culture at his university for what occurred.
“The swim team set no limits on partying or drinking and I saw the guys take full advantage of these circumstances, while I was shown to do the same.
I witness countless times the guys that I looked up to go to parties, meet girls and take the girl that they had just met back with them.
The guys that I thought highly of would dance with girls while being intoxicated and encouraged me to participate in the party like they were.
I was an inexperienced drinker and partygoer, so I just accepted these things that they showed me as normal. Living more than two thousands miles away from home, I looked to the guys on my swim team as family and tried to replicate their values in how they approached college life.”
“The swim team set no limits on partying or drinking and I saw the guys take full advantage of these circumstances, while I was shown to do the same" Turner wrote.
Meanwhile two women who filed letters in support the student-athlete have issued apologies for their statements saying they regret their words now.
Kelly Owens, a high school guidance counselor who initially told the judge Turner was “ absolutely undeserving of the outcome" has now backed down from her initial statement telling her school district:
"Of course he should be held accountable. I pray for the victim, her family and all those affected by this horrible event. I am truly sorry for the additional pain my statement has caused. I tell my students they have to be accountable, and Brock is no exception."
Leslie Rasmussen via Facebook.
The second woman, Turner's childhood friend Leslie Rasmussen, a member of an Indie rock band, has written on Facebook that she now acknowledges that she “was not there that night”
"I had no right to make any assumptions about the situation.” She says
“I am committed to learning from this mistake. I am 20 years old, and it has never been more clear to me that I still have much to learn."
Since his sentencing, the powerful impact statement of Turner’s victim has been seen around the world and helped further the discussion around rape culture.
She told him: "You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today," the victim told Turner.
For sexual assault support 24/7, call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).