Imagine you are an intoxicated woman who was raped on her college campus. Imagine you have your day in court with your rapist, being forced to relive and describe every vile thing he did to you. Starting out by hoping for justice, moving on to knowing he will be held accountable, you finally hear the sentence by the judge – and in that moment, you are violated again by the American justice system.
This is exactly what happened for the victim of Brock Allen Turner – former Stanford University student, and violent sexual predator. The charges that prosecutors were seeking, after his disgusting attack on an intoxicated woman, included a 6-year stay in prison. The judge in the case, though, seemed to think that the real victim here was the rapist himself. The actual victim was all but ignored by the judge.
After a jury convicted Turner of sexually penetrating an intoxicated and unconscious person with a foreign object, prosecutors asked a judge to sentence him to six years in California prison. Probation officials had recommended the significantly lighter penalty of six months in county jail, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
The judge, Aaron Perksy, cited Turner’s age and lack of criminal history as factors in his decision, saying, “A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him … I think he will not be a danger to others.”
A prison sentence, as in a real prison and not the local county country club version, would have too severe an impact on this rapist. However, the victimization and rape, ongoing mental trauma and physical distress of his victim is something negligible and not deserving of actual justice. Add onto that the new trauma inflicted by this judge, in his denial of justice and marginalization of her suffering, and you see the problems with our justice system in America.
The district attorney that prosecuted Turner for his crimes released this statement:
“The punishment does not fit the crime,” the District Attorney 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.”
The sentence follows a trial and a jury’s verdict in late March that found Turner guilty of three felony charges: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated/unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person, and penetration of an unconscious person.
After midnight, on January 18, 2015, Turner was seen by two witnesses sexually assaulting the unconscious victim, who was laying on the ground behind a dumpster on Stanford campus. When they called out, Turner ran away. The two tackled him and held him until police officers arrived. Evidence showed that the victim was so heavily intoxicated that she did not regain consciousness until hours later.
It’s simply unreal. This “person” for lack of a better term, raped an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. He was convicted of 3 felonies. He made a conscious choice to do this. It isn’t “boys will be boys,” it’s a rapist being a rapist. He already proved he is a danger to others by raping a woman – an unconscious woman in a filthy spot behind a dumpster.
The victim had her own statement for her attacker in court, which the judge completely ignored:
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. …
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 w hat he’d seen.
“I don’t want my body anymore,” she said. “I wanted to take off my body like a jacket and leave it at the hospital with everything else.”
The judge was more concerned about the safety and future welfare of her rapist because he’s a white male college athlete who has “his whole future ahead of him.” If women have a severe and lasting impact from a sexual assault that’s just the burden of being a woman apparently. Not only is sexual assault in America near epidemic levels in certain areas like our colleges – now it’s almost consequence free.
Source: Boing Boing