A Victim Speaks Out

Filed in National by on June 6, 2016

This is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever read. I’m going to highlight some passages, but you should read the whole thing.

Here’s some background:

Stanford University student Brock Allen Turner was accused last year of sexually assaulting an unconscious and intoxicated woman outside an on-campus fraternity party. Turner, then 19, was a member of the college swim team and had aspirations for the 2016 Olympic Games.

This week, he was found guilty of sexual assault.

According to the San Jose Mercury-News, a jury of eight men and four women convicted Turner on Wednesday of three felony charges: 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.

[…]

Turner was arrested on Jan. 18, 2015 after two graduate students who were cycling by a Kappa Alpha party spotted him “thrusting his hips atop an unconscious woman lying on the ground.”

One of the grad students, Peter Jonsson, allegedly yelled at Turner, prompting him to jump off the woman. Jonsson then pursued Turner, who ran from the scene.

Meanwhile, the other grad student, Carl Arndt, rushed to help the victim, a woman identified only as “Jane Doe.” She was reportedly unconscious but breathing.

The Verdict:

Brock Turner, 20, was convicted of three felony charges: 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.

The Sentence:

Six months in county jail and probation. However… it probably won’t even be six months.

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.”

After the hearing, Santa Clara County district attorney Jeff Rosen slammed the sentencing, which will likely result in Turner spending three months behind bars – a fraction of the maximum 14 years he was potentially facing.

“The punishment does not fit the crime.”

The Statement:

Here are some excerpts, but you need to read her entire statement:

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.

Yeah, this “promising future” stuff needs to stop. And she sums this up later in her statement:

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.

Think about that for a while.

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.

Okay, we’ll let Brock fill it in? Moving on.

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.

See? Brock did fill it in. He “filled it in” with a new story. But that story doesn’t add up:

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.

Thank god for the Swedish grad students. Without them I doubt Brock would have stepped foot inside a police station or court room.

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.

Yeah, that’s a big problem. Viewing sex with one man as transferable to another man.

But the icing on the Brock Turner cake is this:

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.

[…]

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.

Promiscuity? Quick question: Has anyone ever heard the word “promiscuous” used in relation to a man? I haven’t, but maybe I’ve missed something over the years.

She then calls him out. Perfectly.

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.

Convenient confusion. Funny how the two grad students who came across the scene weren’t confused. Funny how Brock Turner was super drunk and super coherent (when he needed to fill in the details) at the same time. And if we believe his lame excuse he should be banned from alcohol consumption his entire life – and if anyone sees him having a drink he should be arrested immediately, since he admits this is how alcohol impacts him. No? Why not?

The problem with this story is that it’s all too familiar. She writes at one point: “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.” I agree. The vast majority of men would never sexually assault or rape, but the ones that do have been shown to be repeat offenders. We need to stop giving these guys cover.

Here’s a handy video that everyone should watch. Consent is not difficult. Really. It’s not.

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About the Author ()

A stay-at-home mom with an obsession for National politics.

Comments (81)

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  1. anonymous says:

    I read this the other day, when the story first broke. The judge’s decision is mind-boggling as well as infuriating. He’s actually a highly rated jurist. Decisions like the judge’s are the reason we have mandatory minimum sentences.

    The judge is basically saying that by losing his scholarship, the rapist has paid already. Is there any clearer way of demonstrating that privilege and wealth are closely linked in this society?

  2. Jason330 says:

    It is a wonder he’ll see any jail-time at all. Our justice system is designed to protect people with money and station from people without money and station.

    When someone with money and station is the perpetrator, then the system simply doesn’t work.

  3. puck says:

    At least one thing went right: the crime was reported to police, prosecuted, and a conviction obtained. That’s how you handle felonies. If it hadn’t been reported to police it might have ended up another he said/she said.

  4. pandora says:

    There are plenty of these incidents that are reported to the police and nothing happens. Watch The Hunting Ground and read Jon Krakauer’s: Missoula.

    IMO, the main reason this was taken seriously has to do with the two Swedish grad students. Without them, I doubt her going to the police would have had the same results. Altho, six months? Outrageous.

  5. Jason330 says:

    California’s “Affirmative Consent” law goes a great distance is trying to see that these are prosecuted in the future – eye witness or no eye witness.

    “(1) An affirmative consent standard in the determination of whether consent was given by both parties to sexual activity. “Affirmative consent” means affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent. Affirmative consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent. ”

    Still, with judges computing punishments based on perceived damage to the perpetrators reputation, station or future prospects, it will still be hard for victims to find justice.

  6. anon says:

    The rapist’s father chimes in:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3626657/Father-Stanford-University-swimmer-guilty-raping-23-year-old-woman-frat-party-says-son-paying-steep-price-20-minutes-action-shouldn-t-incarcerated.html?ito=social-facebook

    Dan A. Turner adds that his son can be a positive force in the community by promoting the ‘dangers of alcohol and sexual promiscuity’.

    He’d be a more positive force if he talked about not raping unconscious women.

    And this is just too much:

    ‘That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 years of life,’ Dan A. Turner continued.

  7. pandora says:

    Well, looks like we’ve discovered where the son gets his ideas from. “20 minutes of action”???? WTH?

  8. Jason330 says:

    His poor kid has lost his smile and his appetite. How can jail time be viewed as punishing him further?

  9. Liberal Elite says:

    @p “Altho, six months? Outrageous.”

    For certain, but here’s the silver lining:

    “Turner will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and complete a sex offender management program.”

  10. anon says:

    I don’t know, will he have to register as a sex offender for “life,” or can his affluent family hire an attorney to make that go away?

  11. Dem19703 says:

    According to the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School:
    “Criminal law theorists believe that sentences serve two purposes. First, they serve the goal of deterring future crime by both the convict and by other individuals contemplating a committal of the same crime. Second, a sentence serves the goal of retribution, which posits that the criminal deserves punishment for having acted criminally. When sentencing, a judge must impose the least severe sentence that still achieves both goals, while also considering the need for societal protection.” https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/sentencing

    I cannot see where the Judges sentencing takes the victim into account, much less “achieves both goals, while also considering the need for societal protection.” It fails on both counts.

    Also, this from Wikipedia on Judicial discretion:
    “Concerns with regard to recidivism and other law and order issues have led to the introduction of mandatory sentencing. Eg. three-strikes laws and most sex offender registry laws in US are examples of laws carrying severe consequences, and which does not leave room for sentencing judges to consider the actual gravity of the offense, thus significantly limiting judicial discretion in sentencing.”

    Again, his sentence is not hampered by mandatory minimums, three-strike laws, or sex offender registry laws. He only factored in the what he perceived to be the “victimization” of the perpetrator. He was more concerned with what he was losing, than what the actual victim lost. That is something she will never get back.

  12. cassandra m says:

    “A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him

    As it should. But not giving him a serious prison sentence certainly ignores the impact of his brutality on the victim. I’m not sure what having to register as a sex offender would mean to this kid. It sure sounds like he comes from a background where that might be a badge of honor.

  13. anonymous says:

    I suppose we could find a silver lining in the fact that this odious sentence got the case far more attention than a reasonable sentence would have. And let’s be honest, even if he got the six years, his victim’s statement would lose none of its impact.

  14. Liberal Elite says:

    The prosecution should appeal.

    1. Send a message
    2. Continue to raise visibility
    3. Maybe win

  15. Dorian Gray says:

    The prosecution should appeal? You may want to research the legality of that idea.

  16. liberalgeek says:

    LE might need some more sleep.

  17. Dana Garrett says:

    The light sentence stems from two factors. The assailant is a white man of some local repute and the victim is a woman. If the situation had been reversed–if the assailant had been a woman and the victim a man–the woman would have been put away for years even if she had been white and of local repute. The backdrop of this is “boys will be boys” and women are supposed to just take it. It’s revolting beyond words.

  18. Liberal Elite says:

    @DG “You may want to research the legality of that idea.”

    Of course they can. And they have.
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/04/us/montana-teacher-rape/

    Note that they are appealing the sentence, not the verdict.

  19. Unstable Isotope says:

    Louisa Curry THIS. SO MUCH THIS

  20. pandora says:

    Yes! Agreed! THIS. SO MUCH THIS

  21. Another Mike says:

    The judge should sentence Turner’s dad to 5 years for writing such an offensive letter. If I was the victim’s father and my daughter’s rapist wrote about “20 minutes of action,” there would be another 20 minutes of action that might land me in jail.

  22. puck says:

    I took “action” to mean the dictionary definition. What is the evidence it means something else in the statement?

    I agree it was an ill-advised statement, and the father should have kept his mouth shut, or thanked the judge for such a light sentence.

  23. pandora says:

    It’s the “action” he’s referring to that’s the problem. He tried to sanitize his words and still made a mess.

  24. puck says:

    Also, does anyone know the actual sentencing guidelines the judge was working with? I read that the maximum sentence would have been 14 years.

    When the judge said ““A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him … I think he will not be a danger to others, ” that sounds offensive, but is that something the sentencing guidelines required him to consider? If he hadn’t considered it, would he have left the sentence open to be overturned on appeal?

    I don’t know, and I suspect most of us don’t either.

    Like it or not, we have first, second, third, and fourth degree rape charges, and within each charge there can be either aggravating or mitigating factors. The law does this for good reason. Does anyone really think all rape sentences should be the maximum allowed? Mandatory sentencing is a path we’ve been down before.

    The silver lining is that the rapist was actually convicted and sentenced. And despite the offensive statements made by the defense and by the father, the law was clear on what is rape and what is not. Maybe now word will spread through all campuses that raping somebody who is passed out is felony rape. I think most people already know that, but obviously not enough.Nobody is going feel empowered to rape because this guy got a light sentence instead of the maximum.

  25. Delaware Dem says:

    Yeah, in our system of government, the state cannot appeal to get a conviction or a tougher sentence.

  26. kavips says:

    You can argue right or wrong. But a legal result all comes down to right or wrong in a court room. People CAN be influenced by emotional argument. Therefore: you need a good lawyer. He had one, she didn’t… That is all it comes down to…..

    Folks, always get yourself a good lawyer. never trust the “mercy” of the court.
    =====

    That said, the next step is to “try” this judge and his moral standards in the press and social media. And it seems to be working… The victim is smarter than her legal representation…

  27. puck says:

    ‘That said, the next step is to “try” this judge and his moral standards in the press and social media. And it seems to be working…”

    Why do we even need judges? Let all sentences be determined by an “Outrage-O-Meter” powered by social media.

  28. pandora says:

    Wait… Brock was convicted of 3 felony charges. And her lawyer was the state – which brought the charges. Not sure what you’re talking about, kavips.

  29. pandora says:

    Outrage-O-Meter? Not following you on this. What cases are you referring to specifically? This case?

  30. kavips says:

    Pandora, let me rephrase… (based on the punishment allotted) the state appears to have been outplayed in the courtroom.

    I like pucks remark… “Why do we even need judges?” Yes, why do we need careful deliberation, sequestration of twelve people, and to hear both side of an argument, when we have social media to do our work for us? Money is there to be saved! Are you listening JFC?

  31. cassandra m says:

    You need judges to sentence those who have been judged by the twelve people. And this is where that judge failed. Or are you really not paying attention here?

  32. Liberal Elite says:

    @DD “Yeah, in our system of government, the state cannot appeal to get a conviction or a tougher sentence.”

    That’s simply wrong. The state can appeal a poor sentence.

  33. cassandra m says:

    The judge is up for re-election, it looks like today.

  34. Liberal Elite says:

    But he’s apparently running unopposed.

    Is there time and organization for a write-in campaign?

  35. pandora says:

    Social media isn’t doing the work for us. The only people required to abide by innocent until proven guilty are the jurors. In fact, we should be thanking social media for drawing attention to cases like these, BLM, minimum wage, income inequality, shootings/NRA, LGBT rights, etc. Unless you guys think these issues would still be garnering the same attention and support without social media?

    I’m really not following your comments here.

  36. puck says:

    “Social media isn’t doing the work for us. ”

    We are social media.

  37. pandora says:

    Still not following your point. Outrage-O-meter? Are you saying you agree with the judge’s sentence, but social media is distorting… something? Can you explain?

  38. puck says:

    I hate researching these things. I’m not a lawyer, and I am not about to get into the weeds reading CA law, but I still haven’t found a good explainer on CA sentencing guidelines. I suspect the judge is on firmer legal ground than some think. Or maybe not. But there are certainly a lot of opinions floating around.

  39. cassandra m says:

    He might be on firm legal ground. Just like the judge who sentenced Brian Banks to 5 years for a crime he did not commit. Doesn’t mean that justice was done.

  40. Liberal Elite says:

    @p “I suspect the judge is on firmer legal ground than some think.”

    Very firm.

    The ground that is not form is his electoral ground. He’ll be either recalled, or run against in the next election. I’m guessing that he’s toast, and should be looking for a partnership somewhere.

  41. puck says:

    I still haven’t heard anyone in favor of mandatory minimum sentencing.

  42. liberalgeek says:

    LE – Are you suggesting that the judge made an illegal sentence? I think that plays into Puck’s sentencing guidelines question. But if the sentencing guidelines say that you can be sentenced to 6 months to 6 years and that sentences can be consecutive or concurrent, then the sentence is legal (if unjustifiable) and there is no appeal for a tougher sentence.

  43. anonymous says:

    The judge supposedly followed the probation office’s recommendation for a lenient sentence. I guess however many lashes with a wet noodle seemed too cruel.

    Meanwhile, after a long FOIA fight, Turner’s mug shot from the night of the crime was finally released to the press. They’ve been using his yearbook picture because the cops wouldn’t release the mug:

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2016/06/06/3785310/brock-turner-mug-shot/

  44. Dorian Gray says:

    Liberal “Elite”… Reread the CNN article you linked to. The state can appeal a sentence that is illegal. This sentence is unjust, not illegal. In other words, what Cass said.

    The state cannot appeal a “poor” sentence. You’re embarrassing yourself.

  45. pandora says:

    “I still haven’t heard anyone in favor of mandatory minimum sentencing.”

    Probably because this isn’t about mandatory minimum sentences. Brock was convicted of three felonies: 1) assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated woman, 2) sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object and 3) sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object.

    He received 6 months in the county jail, which could actually be 3 months.

  46. anonymous says:

    To be fair, I mentioned mandatory minimums early on. This is what can happen when sentences are left to the judge’s discretion.

    We see this all the time in family court: A white, middle-class 16-year-old caught with heroin goes to rehab, a 16-year-old minority in the same situation goes to juvie.

  47. liberalgeek says:

    I’d just like to take a second to suggest that when parents name their kids some typically bizarre white name like “Brock”, they are setting the kid up for a life of affluenza.

  48. Dave says:

    I don’t think that parents to enough critical thinking when they name their children. They tend to live in the past or in the moment, rather than thinking about whether and how names influence their child’s life and future.

  49. liberalgeek says:

    FWIW, I was poking a little fun at how if the guys name was Jaleel or Rakeem, someone would have pointed out how the culture that he came from was somehow at fault and should also be indicted.

  50. puck says:

    Wait a minute… the guy’s name is Brock, and plenty of people have opined that his culture is somehow at fault and should be indicted.

  51. pandora says:

    No, we’re saying that he wasn’t indicted because of his culture/privilege. See Brock compared to Trayvon.

  52. cassandra m says:

    A friend of Brock Turner’s writes a letter for leniency.

    I don’t think it’s fair to base the fate of the next ten + 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. 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.

    Rape is *always* because of rapists. ALWAYS

  53. pandora says:

    “rape on campuses isn’t always because people are rapists.”

    Oh, wow.

    What are they then?

  54. anonymous says:

    The “girl” is not pressing charges. The state did, and it was based on the discovery of the crime in progress. This is sheer denial, and that’s all they have — they simply deny that this so-called sex is a crime. “Well, she was conscious when I started” is not a valid defense.

    Look at the “defense” Cosby is using against his accuser — she’s only in it for the money. If she was so upset why didn’t she go to police immediately?

    A rape victim is made to account for every moment, every decision made in the aftermath of assault, as if trauma shouldn’t affect anyone’s decision-making ability.

  55. pandora says:

    True, anonymous. They are also made to account for every moment, every decision made in their lives prior to the assault.

    This judge took into account how Brock would be impacted – “But Judge Aaron Persky imposed a lighter sentence — which could last only three months with good behavior — because he worried about the “severe impact” prison would have on the 23-year-old.” Pity he didn’t take into consideration how the victim would be impacted.

  56. LashLarue says:

    Jamies Winston paid the girl he raped 950K to go away. Oh thats right, this guy is white and “privlidged” Judge in this Stanford swimmer rape case was appointed to vacancy by Democrat Gov. Gray Davis also Stanford grad.

    Which way do you want it? At least this guy was arrested and convicted, unlike Jamies.

    Judges had out crap sentences all the time, so what’s so special about this one?

  57. puck says:

    In cases where consent is disputed, it is not known if a rape even happened, or is it even known which party is the victim, until evidence is heard and the judge bangs his gavel. That’s what the trial is for. Consent goes to state of mind, as evidenced by actions. Why should that not be available to the defense?

  58. anonymous says:

    A star quarterback is privileged in his own right, though less so when black. But if you followed that case, you know that the cops, white and black, covered for him because FSU football is so important there.

  59. anonymous says:

    “Consent goes to state of mind, as evidenced by actions. Why should that not be available to the defense?”

    This is not really different from imposing the standard that if she didn’t fight back, it’s not rape, which is the same reasoning honor killers use.

  60. pandora says:

    How did we get from this case/verdict to talking about cases that haven’t been tried in court? Are we really back to false rape accusations? Heck, I’m still trying to figure out the outrage-o-meter.

  61. puck says:

    “This is not really different from imposing the standard that if she didn’t fight back, it’s not rape”

    I am pretty sure this standard is universally rejected in court these days. Are we now trying to impose the opposite standard, “if she disputes consent, it was rape?” (not the same as affirmative consent).

  62. Liberal Elite says:

    @P “Heck, I’m still trying to figure out the outrage-o-meter.”

    If you want that to go off the meter, look at how this is handled in most parts of the world. As bad as we are, the rest of the world makes us look great.

  63. Liberal Elite says:

    @p “I am pretty sure this standard is universally rejected in court these days.”

    You’re using the word “universally” totally ignoring what is actually the universal standard. Shall we try China? Kenya? India? North Korea?…

  64. pandora says:

    This case has everything, and more, that puck has demanded for years. The police were called. There were two eye witnesses. There was physical evidence and there was a trial. And yet, there’s still a debate. We’re right back to men’s concerns.

    And puck, you are very wrong about what goes down in a rape trial.

  65. puck says:

    “There was physical evidence and there was a trial. And yet, there’s still a debate. ”

    What debate? Both sides were properly heard and a conviction obtained. What more do you want to happen? A few more such cases will start to change the culture.

    “And puck, you are very wrong about what goes down in a rape trial.”

    Please elaborate, preferably with links to events less than five years old.

  66. pandora says:

    Steubenville:

    As reported by the Cleveland Trader Madison said: ‘There’s an abundance of evidence here that she was making decisions, cognitive choices.’ ‘She didn’t affirmatively say no,’ he stated. And… ‘The person who is the accuser here is silent just as she was that night, and that’s because there was consent.’

    His closing argument:

    “The reality is, she drank, she has a reputation for telling lies,” said Walter Madison, representing Richmond. “When she wakes up and finds out kids have submitted a photo of her on the Internet, she has two choices: saying, `Yeah, that’s me,’ or, `I was having an alcoholic impairment.”‘

    Here’s another:

    “She could have sentenced him to 20 years in prison after he admitted to raping a 14-year-old girl in her high school.
    Instead, a Texas judge gave the defendant a 45-day sentence and five years of probation after implying that the victim was promiscuous.”

    One more:

    A Southern California judge is being publicly admonished for saying a rape victim “didn’t put up a fight” during her assault and that if someone doesn’t want sexual intercourse, the body “will not permit that to happen.”

  67. puck says:

    All three of your citations are about convictions in court, so my claim about that defense being rejected is vindicated. Try again.

  68. pandora says:

    And those example actually made it to court. Most cases don’t.

    “Although roughly 1 in 6 women nationwide are victims of sexual assault — with the rate being higher for women in college, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey — rapists often escape jail time. Only between 8 percent and 37 percent of rapes ever lead to prosecution, according to research funded by the Department of Justice, and just 3 percent to 18 percent of sexual assaults lead to a conviction.”

  69. pandora says:

    Is that really the way you see it? 6 months in jail (which will probably be 3), 45 days in jail?

    For the life of me I have no idea where you are coming from whenever this crime comes up. Do you think a large number of women lie about rape/sexual assault? Are you saying these short sentences fit the crime so we should drop the outrage-o-meter (something you still haven’t explained)?

    And for someone who is rightly outraged (off the meter outraged!) over immigration, income inequality, social security, etc. I’m baffled why you aren’t outraged over a case that checks off every box you always ask for. Your outrage-o-meter should be off the charts over this case, and yet… it’s not.

  70. puck says:

    If you want to propose mandatory sentencing, make your case.

  71. pandora says:

    If you’re fine with this sentence and think those of us who think it’s too little are guilty of over-reacting (outrage-o-meter?), just say it – and tell us why.

    Truthfully, I thought of you when I wrote this post. I thought, “This is it! This case has everything puck always demands! He’ll be the first one to call out this judge.” Welp, that didn’t happen, and I’m really curious as to why.

  72. anonymous says:

    Oooh, I know! Bros before hos!

  73. puck says:

    I see you still couldn’t find a successful recent defense claiming “she didn’t resist,” so we can accept my claim that it is universally rejected and move on.

    Next, you think this sentence was too light, but you won’t take the next logical step and get behind mandatory sentences. Is there some middle ground I am missing? I really don’t think sentences should be subject to the approval of the mob.

    At first glance the sentence appears to be too light, but I don’t know the legal reasoning behind it. And nobody even wants to know, because by God they know how it makes them FEEL, and isn’t that what’s important?

  74. cassandra_m says:

    Oklahoma dismisses charges on a 17-year old who was accused of raping an unconscious 16-year old.

    Because somehow being unconscious (and not resisting) somehow is construed as consent.

  75. Steve Newton says:

    A few more such cases will start to change the culture.

    Frankly, in parts of the country where I grew up, if guys knew that the sentence for rape was only 3-6 months, there’d be a change in the culture all right, but not the one you’re expecting.

    If you think I’m kidding …

  76. puck says:

    That West Virginia case should be appealed to a higher authority – Jerry Springer.